A Voice for Victims of Domestic Violence

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
NOA (No One Alone)
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

NOA provides safe haven and support services for victims of family violence. Through educational programs, NOA works to foster attitudes in the community that violence is not acceptable.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Resting in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, NOA (No One Alone) works to do everything possible to end domestic violence, despite limited resources and a growing demand. NOA believes that no one should be left to face violence alone. Helen Keller once said, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” With the help of Microsoft products and services, NOA has been able to effectively find and serve vulnerable victims and maximize client services.

NOA is an emergency shelter for abused women and children. Incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit in 1990, the shelter opened in 1992 to serve Dawson and Lumpkin counties in Northeast Georgia. NOA’s service area is large and rugged, often making it difficult to get help to victims who desperately need it. As a domestic violence program, NOA gives hope to families experiencing domestic violence. Not only are victims sheltered from physical and emotional violence, they are provided with food, clothing, transportation, medicine, and personal necessities. In addition to emergency shelter NOA offers a 24 hour crisis line; support group and individual counseling; referral to community resources; a children’s program; case management and advocacy; a violence prevention program in partnership with the local school system; and an innovative Law Enforcement collaborative project.

Theodore Roosevelt instructed, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” In 2008, NOA served 1000 people; a 22% increase over the previous year. NOA provided emergency shelter for 89 people, answered 1,598 crisis calls, provided 1,824 referrals to community resources, and provided counseling to 98 victims. The NOA children’s program helped 132 children and the violence prevention program reached over 2,500 students. Educational presentations were heard by over 1500 people in the community and the NOA Bargain Shop provided needed items to over 200 at risk families. In our small community, resources are limited, often making it difficult to meet demands placed on our organization. Microsoft products and donations have assisted NOA in meeting community demands by strengthening the organization’s technology to maximize the impact of services.

The NOA Law Enforcement Project is a collaborative effort between the local Sheriff’s Office and NOA to improve the criminal justice system’s response to family violence. The project began in 2004 to address the significant number of domestic violence homicides in our service area. The partnership places a NOA Advocate at the Sheriff’s Office to provide immediate assistance to victims after law enforcement intervention and/or arrest. NOA staff follows up on police reports, including 911 calls, linking victims of domestic violence to NOA services. NOA’s staff provides each victim with crisis intervention and safety planning; lethality assessments; advocates for the client with law enforcement; and assists the victims throughout the criminal justice system. This program provides open communication between the Sheriff’s Office, NOA, and the victim to seek justice and hold abusers accountable. By working directly with law enforcement, NOA can increase victim safety, reduce future incidents of violence, and broaden the reach of services in the community. Although Georgia ranks 14th in the nation for men who kill women, thanks to collaborative efforts, no domestic violence fatality has been reported in our jurisdiction since inception. Microsoft products have provided the technical support needed to develop community partnerships leading to effective intervention to domestic violence cases.

NOA services begin with initial contact through law enforcement referral or crisis call. The first step for effective services is crisis intervention and safety planning. An intake, which includes an evaluation of needs, leads to either a shelter or non-residential advocate for follow-up. Clients then meet with NOA staff with requests for financial assistance, budgeting, transportation, assistance in filing for government benefits, employment, housing, relocation, and advocacy with child protective services. The NOA legal advocate assists with Temporary Protective Orders, advocacy and court support during legal proceedings as well as referral to attorneys for representation. Individual counseling and support group is available to address the impact of the psychological trauma on victims and their children.

In addition to client services, Microsoft has assisted NOA with community outreach and the marketing needed to make the community aware of services. Family violence is often a multi-generational issue and education at a young age is vital in stopping the cycle of violence. Software donations have assisted NOA’s efforts to increase outreach to youth and expand outreach to victims who are isolated, disabled, seniors, marginalized and other underserved populations. Microsoft software has also been instrumental in NOA’s fundraising efforts to support operations and services. By integrating Microsoft technology into existing and new programs, NOA has greatly increased operational efficiency serving more victims with fewer resources.

Microsoft assists in many of NOA’s programs. Word is utilized for communication with clients, law enforcement, social services agencies, judges, government officials, foundations, attorneys and other community agencies. Word also assists with the development of client and legal documents including safety and case plans and Temporary Protective Orders. Access and Outlook are used for electronic communication and to maintain a database of donors, volunteers, and business contacts. Power Point and Publisher create presentations and materials for outreach, educational, training, and fundraising events for NOA. Explorer and Share Point are utilized for maintenance of the company web server, internal communication, maintenance of the website, and for online research and training. Additionally, NOA makes use of Publisher for the quarterly newsletter and its annual report. Excel plays a vital role in maintaining statistical data and reports for funders. Finally, important documents are safe-guarded using Microsoft online storage.

With Microsoft support, NOA builds and maintains multi-faceted programs, increases victim safety, reduces future violence and continues to develop innovative programs. As a voice against domestic violence and a strong advocate for victims, NOA is a refuge from the storm, a way station, a quiet place for victims to begin rebuilding their lives, free from violence and fear. As community partners, Microsoft and NOA have the opportunity to impact the community for years to come. This alliance gives strength to the “NOA voice” against domestic violence and ensures that “no one is alone” and “no one” has to return to a violent situation.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery