Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services (WDVS) has announced a new book club in Winnemucca with a focus of discussing domestic violence, sexual assault and the characteristics of healthy relationships in relation to book club readings. The book club will kick off with a meeting at the Humboldt County Library on Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. to discuss the first book, “Into The Darkest Corner” by Elizabeth Haynes.
The book club will meet monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at the Humboldt County Library at 6 p.m. At the time of the meeting, participants are expected to have read the book and be ready to discuss the concepts of the book of the month.
The book club is free to all community members interested and participants age 16 and older are invited to join, with teens under the age of 16 able to participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian as some of the information may be sensitive and explicit.
WDVS Program Director Stephanie Johnson said the plan is to choose books that appeal to all audiences from teen to adult. Johnson said, “Into the Darkest Corner” was chosen because it was on a domestic violence book club list. Future books will be chosen based on ideas and feedback from group members.
Individuals who cannot make the in-person meetings can also join the book discussion online in the Goodreads WDVS book club group at https://www.goodreads.com/group/bookshelf/991158-winnemucca-domestic-violence-services-book-club.
The September book club will meet Sept. 11 at the Library at 6 p.m., with the book to be announced after the August meeting.
Although participation in the book club is free, participants are responsible for obtaining their own copy of the book and reading it for the club as copies will not be distributed by WDVS.
“I think it’s a great way for people to get involved and really think about how domestic violence and sexual assault affects people, friends and family and how it’s portrayed in the media, as well as sharing thoughts and information to prevent it,” said Johnson.
As someone who has the opportunity to observe domestic violence trends in Winnemucca, Johnson said things have been steady at WDVS, with less client ebb and flow than previous years.
“Summer is always busy and we’re still busy but we never really had any downtime this year, January through March is usually slow but stayed steady,” said Johnson. “Overall I think that we’ve had about the same number of clients as last year even though we seem like we’ve been busier.”
Regarding domestic violence, Johnson said she often sees victims who leave a domestic violence situation repeatedly and later return to the environment, to the frustration of supportive friends and family, sometimes leading the family to believe that the victim either likes the cycle or just doesn’t care enough to leave for good. Many times the family, friends and support system decides to give up trying to help, leaving the victim without a supportive community to turn to.
In this situation, Johnson said she has seen people get sucked back into a domestic violence cycle and leave the situation more than 10 times before they leave for good. For this, Johnson offers some words of advice from her experience to those who may have a loved one in this situation.
“Continue to be that support, remember to try to be a good listener if a friend or loved one is stuck in a cycle of violence,” said Johnson. “Don’t take it personally and continue to hope that they are able to break away from that cycle.”