It is no secret that at Moya Design Partners we believe in the empowering qualities of design, and we are proud to collaborate with the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH). MOYA’s team of graphic designers and interior designers volunteered to create a space that feels comforting and welcomes the survivors that everyday seek DASH’s support and aid.
More importantly, Moya Design Partners would like to take this chance to offer its platform to DASH’s mission and raise awareness on their work and struggle to both help survivors and advocate for wider civic change towards a safe DC where domestic violence and sexual assault are not tolerated. At MOYA we subscribe to that worthy mission.
Since 2006, DASH has developed survivor-centered programs that have helped thousands of domestic violence survivors build the confidence and find the support to re-appropriate their lives. Thanks to DASH’s continued effort, survivors can overcome obstacles and barriers and feel safe from abuse. It is a slow process that involves remaking a survivor’s sense of self around long–lasting pillars of compassion and sovereignty.
It is a fragile process too. Abuse and violence leave undeterred marks that require a whole support system to heal. DASH and the survivors cannot be alone in this process. It demands a communal effort and the engagement of concerned individuals, companies, and associations. At Moya Design Partners we would like to remind our clients and partners that we are all stakeholders in the struggle to end domestic violence and sexual abuse, and we are all responsible for making survivors and their families feel respected and independent.
Just in 2019, more than 2,162 individuals, at least a third of them Children, were helped by DASH. Their immediate needs are safety, housing, and support. But in the long term they require education, self-esteem, and control over their lives. The latter is particularly important, DASH’s theory of change is based in the understanding that survivors have been deprived of control by their abusers, and any assistance has to meet the survivors where they are, and allow them to heal in their own terms.
For the past three years, DASH’s mission has accelerated and one of their flagships is Journey Home, a fundraising campaign to secure the future of their Cornerstone program. Inaugurated in 2010, the Cornerstone Residence provides temporary safe housing to survivors and a supportive structure.
When stay-at-home is not safe
In a recent interview for Spark-Point, DASH Executive Director, Koube Ngaaje, elaborated on the challenges of safe housing during the COVID-19 crisis. She expressed her concern with a reality that has been a defining feature of the pandemic: stay-at-home provisions put an unbearable stress at homes and increase the risk for domestic violence. As early as March, the severity of the circumstances was recognized by two dozen U.S. senators who issued a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services. Associations and professionals ask for flexibility and recognition of their work as essential.
“Domestic violence has become a second pandemic of its own—stay-at-home orders became worst case scenarios, leaving survivors trapped indoors with their abusers. When the pandemic first broke out, we were seeing almost four times the number of survivors reach out for services.”