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Valley Crisis Center takes over domestic violence services

There was no lapse in help for domestic abuse victims as A Woman's Place closed down and Valley Crisis Center took over Tuesday.

The nonprofit center assumed the phone numbers from A Woman's Place so there was always someone at the receiving end of the 24-hour crisis line.

"We didn't want the responding agencies to think about doing anything different," Valley Crisis Center Executive Director Dave Goger said. "It's our job to make the transition."

Many of the center's staff have past experience with domestic violence and rape counseling because they worked at A Woman's Place.

Two separate shootings, which left a woman and a child dead, underscored the importance of domestic violence prevention and help.By Tuesday morning, the center had already fielded a couple phone calls and had a distraught woman visit the downtown office to make a counseling appointment.

Valley Crisis Center will provide aid to victims of domestic abuse and rape, previously filled by A Woman’s Place, which closed Monday due to mismanagement that left it in debt.

The center is an offshoot of Mountain Crisis Services, a Mariposa-based nonprofit founded 18 years ago. The Merced center will be run separately with its own advisory board and program director. Both will be overseen by Goger.

The staff spent most of the day trying to organize the office, which was filled with desks, file cabinets and chairs that needed to be arranged.

"Yes we have a big job," Goger said. "This is kind of the start point and we hope not the ending point."