For Jeanne Yeager, one of the original leaders of the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, 40 years of service to women and their children suffering domestic violence seems like yesterday. The brainchild of a few brave women in Caroline County who were growing concerned about the increase of violence in area homes, the Mid-Shore began offering services to victims that no federal, state or local government could provide at the time.
Over the last four decades, the Mid-Shore’s portfolio grew from finding safe shelters for families in need but began to diversity by dramatically increasing its mental health care and support groups and, more recently, bringing in volunteer lawyers to help with divorce and child custody matters, the creation of food pantries in all five the counties, and improving internet-based programs to reach more families in need.
In the Spy’s ongoing series celebrating 20 years of grantmaking by the Women & Girls Fund, we talk to Jeanne about this unique program. We also ask WGF board member and attorney Karen Kaludis, one of those early pioneers in the field of domestic violence, to talk about her long-term relationship Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence.