ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County’s branch of CEASE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Inc. recently moved to a bigger and better facility. In light of October’s designation as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, they will host an open house on Oct. 17.

SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) coordinator Audi Yontz explained that she and other CEASE workers are excited for their new facility, which is now located at 307 South Depot Street in Rogersville.

“We outgrew our old space, and we also wanted to be closer to the downtown community to make it easier for our clients,” she said.

The new office will be open to the public on Oct. 17 with a celebratory Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting scheduled for 12 p.m. and an open house to follow from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

“We wanted to open our building up to the community so they can see our space and know where we have moved to,” Yontz said. “We want as many people to know about CEASE as possible so they are aware that we are always here to help someone in need. Our main goal is to help victims become survivors because empowering a survivor is key!”

What do they do?Unfortunately, CEASE is a very well-used and much-needed operation in Hawkins County. Yontz explained that one in four women and one in seven men nationwide will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.

The Hawkins County office offers a ‘Safe at Home’ program, crisis intervention, accompaniment to court, assistance filing protection orders, referrals for other services, support groups, numerous educational classes, resume writing, prevention and advocacy.

They are a non-profit, grant-funded operation, and all of their services are free to those in need.

CEASE also services numerous surrounding areas of Northeast Tennessee including Claiborne, Hamblen, Hancock, Grainger and Union counties, with their main office located in Morristown.

They offer two pet-friendly emergency shelters for domestic violence and sexual assault victims who need a safe place to stay. These are located in Hamblen and Claiborne counties with a combined total of 26 beds.

They also offer a 24-hour crisis hotline that is staffed with advocates who can help with “referrals, counseling shelter or just listening” as their website explains.

Other CEASE eventsIn light of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, CEASE members will also be traveling to businesses around the six-county region that they serve and asking for pledges to stand up against domestic violence and not be a bystander.

Those who take the pledge will have their photo made with a CEASE representative, and this photo will be advertised on CEASE’s Facebook Page.

Additionally, Hawkins Co. CEASE is hosting a bowl-a-thon event in partnership with Rogersville’s East End Lanes bowling alley, which is located at 1410 East Main Street.

The event will take place on Oct. 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 6 p.m. Both individuals and teams are welcome, and a minimum $10 donation is required to register. East End will provide shoes and bowling balls.

For more information or to register for the bowl-a-thon, call the Hawkins Co. CEASE office at (423) 347-5000 or East End Lanes at (423) 293-3356.

For assistance or shelter, call the Hawkins Co. CEASE office listed above, the main office at (423) 581-7029 or the Crisis Hotline at 1-800-303-2220. You can also visit their website at https://ceaseabuse.sitey.me/.