Samaritan House Newsletter issue 1
Current Administration to Cut Funding for Violence Against Women  
Domestic violence programs across the country are in jeopardy under the current administration's proposed budget. To pay for increased defense spending many critical programs, such as the Violence Against Women Act, (VAWA) are losing funding and will likely put the lives of those experiencing violence in danger due to fewer available resources. According to a report from The Hill, all 25 grant programs managed by the office for the Violence Against Women, housed in the Department of Justice, are on the chopping block. Implemented in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act and similar federal legislation, helps organizations like Samaritan House to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, dating violence, stalking and elder abuse. Some of this funding is earmarked for emergency housing, legal aid, and training to keep staff proficient on polices to ensure the best response for victims of violence. The goal of this type of funding is to protect child victims, women with disabilities, and children who have witnessed the abuse of a parent. "Although we do not rely heavily on federal funding, these types of cuts may have a devastating impact on victims of violence in Hampton Roads," says Samaritan House Executive Director, Robin Gauthier. 

Victims of violence already face huge obstacles and funding cuts like those proposed by the current administration, make escaping violent situations insurmountable. Now, more than ever, agencies like Samaritan House need your support to ensure victims have access to critical services and vital community resources. Please contact your Senator/Congressmen and ask them to stand with victims of violence. 
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Upcoming Events

Let's talk

Women Against Violence Luncheon
Date: Friday, May 19, 2017
Location: Westin Virginia Beach Town Center
4535 Commerce Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Time: 11:30am - 12:00pm: check-in
12pm - 1:00pm: lunch and program
Special guest speaker: Janine Latus.
"Janine is the most compelling speaker on sexual assault and relationship abuse I have heard."​​​​​​
To register as a Table Advocate or event Sponsor click here

Serve Love Heal Tennis Tournament
Date: Friday May 5 - Sunday May 7, 2017
LocationVirginia Beach Tennis and Country Club
1950 Thomas Bishop Ln.
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Saturday Night Party: Tickets are $30 per person.
Join us for a wonderful night of live music - featuring Restless Natives - great food, drinks, and a silent auction.

For additional information, player registration or event sponsorship opportunities click here.
For event information call Sugie or Claudette at (757)481-7545 or email
Letter from the Director
For many of you, this is my first opportunity to reach out and introduce myself.  I am the new Executive Director of Samaritan House, Inc. As the previous Program Director for more than ten years, I understand the damaging effects of domestic violence on adults and their children. As the Executive Director, my vision is to continue growing and expanding our services at Samaritan House so that we are available at every pivot point for victims of violence and those experiencing homelessness. 

This year we implemented the Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP) with the Virginia Beach Police Department. Samaritan House participated in the training of Virginia Beach police officers to help identify victims who are at the highest risk of physical harm or death by an abusive partner. Now, when a 911 operator dispatches a police officer to respond to a domestic call, the officer administers a danger assessment with victims. Based on the results of the assessment the officer initiates the necessary actions to connect the victim to Samaritan House. Because of the positive results in other Hampton Roads cities, Samaritan House is optimistic the Lethality Assessment Protocol will reduce or eliminate intimate partner homicide.

Your support of Samaritan House has made programs like LAP a reality for victims in the community. Thank you for partnering with us. Whether you volunteer, attend a special event, or make a financial contribution, together we are making a tangible difference in lives of people today.

Please read further to hear about the exciting things we have been doing as well as upcoming events and plans for the future.
Thank you for your support!
Robin Gauthier

A Voice for the Voiceless
One Person Making a Difference

Women's History Month was declared by Congress thirty years ago to recognize and celebrate achievements of American women.  This year, Samaritan House honors Ginger Dietz for her lifetime's work to empower victims of domestic violence, and for her consistent philanthropy to support our programs and services.  It's a long story, and she made a difference along the way! Please enjoy and celebrate her story in her own words below.

Her path to Samaritan House and her present life is a journey beginning many years ago with domestic violence at home.  When the abuse included intimidation and threats to her sons by their step-father, she knew that the marriage had to be over, and insisted that this man had to leave.  She was able to do this with the unreserved support of her nearby family, and with the understanding of her colleagues at the women's healthcare clinic where she worked.  Her experience with an abuser had taught her how to recognize signs of abuse to clinic clients.  She then became designated staff to work with Women's Agenda, the first state women's healthcare caucus in the country.  Her journey to providing domestic violence education and prevention had begun.

Ginger went from volunteer training to volunteer to Volunteer Coordinator to Community Education and Training Director at the county seat's domestic violence program.  She quickly connected with leaders in local and state government, law enforcement, the courts, and newspaper reporters.  She developed and conducted training for police, judges, teachers, and medical professionals.  There were numerous guest invitations for radio and tv shows to discuss domestic abuse and dating violence, and requests to write articles for publications such as the PA Medical Society Journal.  These were the early days of establishing credibility as women advocating for women...she worked countless hours and was grateful for every hour spent along the path!

Although shelter and crisis-related services were established, no post-crisis support was available. To meet that need, Ginger, a therapist friend, and several community leaders founded a volunteer-based post-crisis support center. One board member was the Director of the County Department of Probation and Parole, who asked Ginger to design a program for batterers on parole.  She won an award from the District Attorney's Office for that effort. When her husband, Jim, found that his railroad career could take them to Virginia, they packed up the award and left joking that those parolees would be hearing her voice back in Pennsylvania for a long, long time!

When asked how long she's served Samaritan House, the reply is usually, "Since the moving truck got out of the driveway!"  Ginger was elected to the board of directors in June, 1999 and served on the board for fifteen years, including two terms as president, where her voice continued to be heard!  Now married for nearly thirty years, Jim and Ginger both firmly believe in support for her work for victims of domestic violence, and have given generously since their arrival.  Fondly remembering her grandfather's words, "Put your money where your mouth is!" and her congressman friend counseling, "Think globally, act locally!" Ginger believes that giving what you can is yet another way to use your voice.
Being in the right place at the right time to have done what she's done, Ginger's very grateful for the encouragement she received to take those opportunities to use her voice.  Says she, "Use your own voice, too, in any way you can...each of us can make a difference!"
Samaritan House Benefits from the Beach Ball
What started out as an idea to give back to the city she loves, Alexis Hionis approached a group of friends about hosting an annual black tie gala utilizing her family’s beloved Virginia Beach event venue, the Lesner Inn. And so it began in 2016, the Beach Ball was born with the hard work and dedication of the entire planning committee, the Beach Ball was able to raise and donate $11,000 to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

Alexis and the event planning committee, who consists of many of her close friends, set a goal this year to raise $15,000 for another local charity.

The Samaritan House was the fortunate recipient of the 2nd annual Beach Ball. The event was first-class from beginning to end and raised more than $20,000 for our programs.

Thank you to Alixis Hionis, the entire planning committee, the Lesner Inn, the generous sponsors and all the wonderful guests for supporting Samaritan House and providing much needed funds for our clients safety and self-sufficiency.

Volunteer Corner​​​​​​​
Samaritan House would not exist without our volunteers. We rely on volunteers to assist us in a variety of ways to ensure overhead costs are kept at a minimum.

We continually seek dedicated individuals and groups to partner with us for a variety of one-time or ongoing projects.

Just like Alexis Hionis did with the Beach Ball, you can plan and host a fundraising event to benefit the Samaritan House. Get creative, have fun and raise money for a great cause.

Maybe you would like to adopt one of our emergency houses and give it a face lift.

Another great way to get involved is to host a food, clothing, furniture or toiletry drive on behalf of our clients or supplies for the Samaritan House offices.

For more information about how you can get involved, please contact Melody Sanders, or call 757-631-0710 ext. 279

 2620 Southern Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452. 
Domestic Violence Hotline (757) 251-0144. Housing Crisis Hotline (757) 587-4202. Office (757) 631-0710.