The nonprofit Domestic Abuse Disruption has been serving the greater Roanoke Valley for a decade. Earlier this month, the organization posted to social media that a lack of funding has jeopardized its ability to continue offering its services.
“Most of this year has been possible solely due to the efforts and generosity of the same 18 people who believe in our efforts and approach,” the statement said.
It was founded by Roanoke County resident Trey Gregory, a former police officer in the Air Force and Roanoke City Police Department, and Salem resident Kenny Overstreet, an employee of the City of Salem Solid Waste Transfer Station.
“We don’t need a lot. We don’t have fancy offices,” Gregory, the president and a director, said. The organization doesn’t have a large overhead due to the fact that most of its services simply consist of sweat equity. “We’re just out there doing it. We’re not an expensive group.”
The organization has largely grown over the years through word of mouth.
“Since 2012 we have been helping victims of domestic violence escape their abusive partners and environments,” the organization’s about us page said. “Our goal is to help turn victims into survivors and get them to a place where they can begin to rebuild their lives.”
In a given month, the organization offers substantive guidance to at least 50 individuals. While court escort services have dropped off some since the start of the pandemic, at its height D.A.D. was performing over 100 escorts a year.
“All our services are free to the ladies that call,” Gregory stressed.
The organization also offers a defense class that 2,160 women have gone through free of charge.
For the first few years, the organization largely functioned with just Gregory and Overstreet doing all the work. Gregory said the organization has a wide variety of volunteers. He noted that many people show up to assist with property retrievals because “they just want to help out because they believe in what we do.”
Gregory said that funding and support will at least allow the organization to finish out the month of September, but that the organization’s long-term continuation is uncertain. “I’m going to hold on as long as I possibly can,” he said. “I’m not ready to throw in the towel.”
Additional information about D.A.D. can be found at: https://dadhelps.org/