‘Honoring Hope’ for Canadian County domestic violence survivors

Cardinal Point's second annual community awareness luncheon Oct. 4 in Yukon

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Cardinal Point CEO Kristie Chandler

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A survivor who experienced domestic abuse during her law enforcement career will be guest speaker at an upcoming Yukon luncheon.

“You never know who domestic violence will touch,” Cardinal Point CEO Kristie Chandler said. “When we think of ‘who is experiencing this crime?’, it can literally be anyone.”

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Presented during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the second annual Cardinal Point “Honoring Hope” community luncheon will be noon Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Yukon’s Discovery Church, 900 E Main.

The fund-raising luncheon will raise awareness about the services that Canadian County’s family justice center and its resource partners provide domestic violence survivors.

The special event will feature a one-hour program and chef-prepared lunch.

“Last year, we raised over $14,000 at the luncheon and we really hope to go that again,” Chandler said. “We’re still looking for people to host a table.”

Cardinal Point, one of three family justice centers in Oklahoma, offers a “direction of hope” to victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse, and human trafficking.

Cardinal Point and its resource partners provide a welcoming, safe place where adult and youth victims can go when they are hurting.

The upcoming Honoring Hope luncheon will celebrate the success of Canadian County’s family justice center project.

“Healing happens in community,” Chandler said. “Oftentimes, people think the solution to domestic violence is to leave. And people will do that when the community makes it safe for them to do so.”

The Cardinal Point family justice center opened in January 2021 after Canadian County Commissioners established the public trust in October 2020.

“We are finishing our second fiscal year of operations, which is exciting for a new endeavor that launched during COVID,” Chandler shared. “That speaks to our partners’ commitment, the community’s commitment and the county’s commitment.

“We appreciate everyone staying in this with us.”

Cardinal Point has served more than 500 people (about 400 of them “new” clients) during its second operational year, which ends Sept. 30.

Cardinal Point has noticed an increase in domestic violence cases from last year.

“That’s good and that’s heart-breaking,” Chandler said. “We always expected that the numbers would increase before they decrease.

“That just means people are more comfortable reporting and more comfortable coming to the resources that are available. That’s a great sign.”

Cardinal Point’s resource partners are: Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, Legal Aid, The Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, the District Attorney’s Office, and SafeCare.

“We want to continue expanding those resource partners,” Chandler noted. “We’re really thankful for those partners who have been with us since the beginning.

“We absolutely could not touch lives without them. Cardinal Point is the ‘navigator’ to all of their unique and specialized services.”

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ON THE MOVE?

Cardinal Point and the partnering agencies now occupy a 5,100-square-foot space inside the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, 7905 E Hwy 66 in El Reno.

“We can’t overstate how meaningful it’s been to have our beginnings at the Children’s Justice Center,” Chandler said. “You cannot have safe children if you do not have safe homes, and adults creating safe homes.

“Survivors in the county deserve a space that’s going to accommodate all of their needs as we grow, get beyond COVID and the economic situation we’re all in right now.”

There have been talks about moving Cardinal Point to the Canadian County Health Department’s current Yukon building at 1023 E Vandament when a new CCHD health clinic and office open at 6100 E Hwy 66.

“Whatever space that we’re able to have, we will make it the best space possible for survivors in our county,” Chandler said.

Fund-raising events like the Oct. 4th Honoring Hope community luncheon are critical to Cardinal Point’s success.

Canadian County’s family justice center has received federal funding through the Office on Violence Against Women ($93,370) and Victims of Crime Act ($124,084) grants. Canadian County Commissioners provided $25,000 this year.

Individuals, churches and civic groups also help with donations.

“The generosity of the community and the people who support us and support this model helps sustain us too,” Chandler said. “We really do need people to take us ‘under their wing’ and help us keep this model going in the community.”

Cardinal Point representatives thanked Pastor Kevin Fouts of Discovery Church in Yukon for hosting the Oct. 4th Honoring Hope community luncheon. Sponsorship levels range from $101 to $1,000-plus.

“Continuing the dialogue in the community about domestic violence and all the resources that are available to survivors is very important to what we do,” Chandler said.

“The more that people know about Cardinal Point in the community, the quicker we can get help to people who need it.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring or hosting a table of eight at the Honoring Hope luncheon should call (405) 776-0990 or email cardinalpointok.org

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