Weems Gallery & Framing, a local art gallery, has partnered with the Albuquerque Domestic Violence Resource Center to host a private fundraiser to increase resources at the center. The event will take place in April, according to a press release.
In the United States, almost 20 people are physically abused by their intimate partner every minute. In New Mexico, “37.6% of New Mexican women and 33.3% of New Mexican men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes,” according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The center focuses on helping survivors by providing shelter, safety planning, emergency restraining orders, case management, legal assistance, housing assistance, clothing and food, amongst other things, according to the press release. Currently, the resource center has an ongoing need for burner phones, according to Kristin Middleton, the DVRC executive director.
“Oftentimes, when a victim leaves their abuser and comes to us, they have nothing, possibly, but the clothes on their back and probably don't have many financial resources. And oftentimes, they don't have a phone or the phone they do have is trapped by the abuser. So, we really have a need for those Tracphones. We're constantly giving those out to victims for safety.” Middleton said.
In Albuquerque, the DVRC receives over 600 calls per month and provides support to over 200 survivors, according to Middleton.
Besides raising funds, Middleton hopes to raise awareness of domestic violence and its cyclical nature within families.
“It tends to go through generations and generations because it's been normalized when you were a child, so you end up becoming an adult and carrying that same culture of abuse. So, gotta break this cycle, and there's no way to do it other than to make people ... go, ‘Huh, that’s not right,’” Middleton said.
This is the second year Weems Gallery has partnered with the DVRC for a fundraiser. Sheila McVeigh, the gallery owner, as a domestic violence survivor as well, said she feels very passionate about helping the community.
“I'm a survivor, myself — left home at 14 … So this is something that hits home to me, and I believe in what they're doing and the importance of resources like that for people who have nowhere to go and need some support in that community,” McVeigh said.
Because of this, McVeigh said she tries to support the Albuquerque community through Weems by hosting fundraisers and similar events for different non-profits every month since 2021.
After their first year hosting such events, Weems McVeign said they raised over $70,000 and around $20,000 in years after.
Weems Gallery currently supports almost 200 local artists. For every art piece that is sold at the fundraiser, the DVRC will receive 25% of the total profit, according to McVeigh. She also said that if the turnout of the event does not reach expectations, the gallery will auction a painting and 100% of the profit will go to the DVRC.
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McVeigh said she hopes that the event helps give hope to other survivors and the community in general and to normalize domestic abuse conversations.
“I just knew that we could grow from that in our society and what I'd love to put forward is people not feeling embarrassed to share their story, or embarrassed to say that it happened to them and be proud of the survival and pat yourself on the back for getting out,” McVeigh said.
Annya Loya is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @annyaloya