Local groups offer help for domestic violence

Law students in Wake Forest University’s Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition present a check to the staff of Eliza’s Helping Hands for $1,535 on Monday, Oct. 31.

Local groups offer help for domestic violence
November 03
05:30 2016

Photo by Todd Luck



Two organizations in the Winston Mutual Building are helping local domestic violence victims and offenders.

Kenya Thornton founded both Community Intervention & Educational Services, which provides intervention services for domestic violence offenders, and the nonprofit Eliza’s Helping Hands (EHH), which helps victims in abusive relationship. She previously worked with domestic violence at Family Services, and in 2012 started Community Intervention, a for-profit agency that offers the Creating Opportunities for Others to Learn (COOL) program for abusers.

The court-ordered 26 week program for both men and women convicted of domestic violence offenses helps them take responsibility for their actions and helps them change their behavior so they don’t abuse again.

She said it’s effective, having only seven repeat offenders out of more than 2,000 participants since 2012.

“If you can at least intervene and get them into a program, I’m not saying it’s going to heal everything, but if you can at least intervene, you can keep the escalation down,” said Thornton. “It keeps them accountable for that 26 weeks.”

Community Intervention also offers other services including play therapy for traumatized children, supervised family visitation, substance abuse classes and couples counseling.

Last year, Thornton started Eliza’s Helping Hands (EHH), which she named after her grand-mother, who had her own challenges with emotional abuse.

“She just always taught me to help other people if you can,” said Thornton.

EHH offers many services to domestic violence victims including support groups, courtroom advocacy, case management and need assessment.  Clients are referred from the courts, police, social services and some find the agency on their own. Thornton says many people in abusive relationships will contact EHH to find out what they can do to get out of their situation.

Thornton is planning to open an EHH transitional home for domestic violence victims next year, though a location for the facility hasn’t been chosen yet. It’ll accommodate men, women and transgender individuals.

Unlike Community Intervention, which is funded by clients fees, EHH depends on donations. She said the community has been generous in its support during the group’s many recent  fundraisers. Just this week, law students in Wake Forest University’s Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition presented a check to the agency for $1,535 they raised in a raffle.

For more information, visit Community Intervention’s website,, and EHH’s website at The EHH Crisis Line is (336) 865-0389.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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