By Conrad Dudderar
Canadian County’s family justice center helped more than 500 people over the past 12 months.
Some 503 domestic violence survivors engaged with Cardinal Point and were provided support and connections to its partner agencies and other community resources during the center’s fiscal year – Oct. 1, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2023.
Of those 503 survivors, 352 were new individuals.
All survivors were honored during Cardinal Point’s “Honoring Hope” luncheon Oct. 3 at Mustang’s First Baptist Church, 928 N Mustang Road.
This was the third year for this awareness and fund-raising event, held in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We chose to name the signature event ‘Honoring Hope’ to highlight the hope that is in our community for survivors,” Cardinal Point Chief Executive Officer Kristie Chandler said.
The goal of Honoring Hope is to spread awareness about domestic violence and share about how the issue impacts the Canadian County community, including identifying the hope after experiencing domestic violence.
“We believe we achieved the goal,” Chandler said.
Cardinal Point’s mission is: “We enhance safety, healing and hope by working with people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child abuse through public and private partner collaboration.”
Cardinal Point brings together services into one central location, improving collaboration and coordination, in an effort to remove the challenge survivors face when they would otherwise have to travel from location to location to access these services.
Resources partners are Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), Child Abuse Response Team (C.A.R.T.) House, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, La Luz Org, Canadian County’s Sheriff’s Office, Yukon Police Department, Mustang Police Department, El Reno Police Department, and Union City Police Department.
Canadian County Commissioners created the Cardinal Point Public Trust in October 2020.
In January 2021, Cardinal Point moved into its first space inside the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center at 7905 E Hwy 66 in El Reno.
“We plan to move to a permanent location in the next year in Yukon and continue building the safety net that each partner holds in this coordinated community response,” Chandler pointed out.
More than 135 people attended the Oct. 3rd Honoring Hope luncheon, with the nine partner agencies present.
Guest speakers were Kristopher and Rachel Goble, who shared their stories of strength.
“Everyone’s full attention was on display, and you could hear a pin drop as they shared about power and control dynamics, resilience and the importance of talking about dating and domestic violence in our community, including spreading awareness about the vital resources that can help,” Chandler shared.
District Attorney Mike Fields, who serves as Cardinal Point’s Board of Trustees chair, presented the Compass Award to Canadian County Commissioner Dave Anderson during the luncheon.
Commissioner Anderson is a champion of the family justice center model and has been a tremendous supporter of Cardinal Point’s sustainability.
Honoring Hope-level sponsors were: Trans Tech, Lucky Star Casino, Express Professional Services, Graham Logistics Services, and Mike and Jennifer Fields.
North sponsors were Bass Law and Rae Turner Oil and Gas. South sponsor was ICAN. Food sponsor was Fellers.
“We are grateful for the event sponsors, the table hosts that invited guests, and all of the event attendees who shared a meal, heartfelt words, and financial gifts in community with us,” Chandler added.
Cardinal Point is starting its fourth year as Canadian County’s family justice center for domestic violence survivors.
CEO Chandler described an exciting year of “forward momentum”. Highlights were:
- ICAN began an evening support group at Cardinal Point.
- A new children’s group was developed by Cardinal Point staff to support survivors attending the evening group.
- The District Attorney’s Office embedded a crime victim advocate, and a prosecutor will be onsite each week starting this month.
- Red Rock Behavioral Health Services will begin a “Know Your Worth” group for survivors in November at Cardinal Point, which looks forward to adding counseling services through this partnership.
- A new volunteer attorney joined “Ask A Lawyer” night, which is a service offered monthly to address the legal questions survivors may have.
Chandler discussed ways the public can support Cardinal Point’s mission.
“We welcome invitations to speak with groups, companies and events,” she said. “Sharing our social media posts helps to increase awareness about help and hope available, and we can always use the time, talent and treasures of our community.”
DA Fields chairs Cardinal Point’s Board of Trustees. Other members are Canadian County Commissioner Tracey Rider, Undersheriff Kevin Ward, domestic violence professional Jacqueline Steyn, and survivor Heidi Oliver.
For more information, visit cardinalpointok.org or call (405) 776-0990.