Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (DVIS) started in 1976, when an abuse victim helped organize a task force to provide telephone crisis counseling for victims of abuse. Within just three years, the Tulsa Task Force for Battered Women grew from a telephone crisis line to an agency addressing the full scope of family violence.
In the beginning, women in danger were sheltered in safe homes until the first DVIS shelter for battered women was opened in May 1981. The original shelter could house up to 25 women and children, but by the mid-80s, the existing shelter was not sufficient to meet the demand for emergency shelter services. Thanks to many volunteers and generous community support, a capital campaign was launched in 1985 to build a new shelter, one of the largest in the country, and one of the few built specifically for domestic violence victims. The 50-bed shelter opened in July 1986 and housed almost 1,000 women and children each year. In 1986, DVIS also began a counseling program for abusers.
In 2000, DVIS completed a one-year capital campaign that raised the funds to purchase a new home for the administrative and outpatient counseling offices. The campaign enabled DVIS to purchase and renovate an apartment complex which allowed Sojourner’s Inn, our previous transitional living program. to double in size and house up to 48 women and children. The new administrative office and Sojourner’s Inn opened their doors in the summer of 2001.
On January 10, 2005, DVIS announced the unification of DVIS and Call Rape to serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community. At the request of the Tulsa Area United Way, DVIS merged with Call Rape to increase the efficiency and the quality of services offered. The addition of sexual assault services to DVIS’ continuum of care furthered the agency’s goal of stopping violence in the community.
In 2006, the Ann Patterson Dooley Family Safety Center (FSC) was established in conjunction with the City of Tulsa. DVIS was a founding partner of the Family Safety Center, which was one for the first 15 in the U.S. This allowed DVIS to partner with 13 agencies in the same building as the Tulsa Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, an on-site Forensic nurse to document injuries, Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries and the District Attorney’s office. We are able to offer free legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and adult sex trafficking through attorneys and court advocates helping them obtain emergency and permanent protective orders.
In 2012, DVIS/Call Rape began solicitations for our $26 million capital campaign to build a new shelter, transitional living apartments and counseling offices.
In 2013, DVIS/Call Rape started an “I Stand” campaign where men throughout our community made a statement of what they stand for in relations to domestic violence and sexual assault. Some of our spokesmen included Felix Jones, TW Shannon, Phil Lankin, Chris Lincoln, Ted Hayes, Marcello Angelini, Chris Harris, Jim Langdon, Mark Graham, Terry Rackley, Eric Himan and Tim Smallwood.
In 2014, DVIS/Call Rape was able to break ground and start construction on our current shelter and transitional living apartments on land donated by Joe and Darcey Moran. In February 2015, DVIS unveiled new branding with the help from the experts at Saxum PR. The agency underwent a rebranding and officially changed the agency name to “Domestic Violence Intervention Services” or “DVIS”. We also developed a new tagline “Overcoming violence and abuse.”
In April 2015, DVIS opened the doors to a brand new 90+ bed shelter and 20-unit transitional living apartment complex. With these expanded facilities, DVIS can now serve even more individuals. The new features include private bathrooms in every room, a daycare and kennels for dogs and cats. DVIS was the first shelter in Oklahoma to house male survivors of domestic violence & other special populations, as well as offer pet kennels.
In 2016, DVIS celebrated their 40th anniversary. In 2017, DVIS’ Children’s Trauma Program celebrated 25 years of serving families and the Jail program celebrated its 10 year anniversary.
In January 2017, DVIS completed construction and moved into the Moran Family Counseling Center, a new building which houses the agency’s outpatient counseling and administrative offices. Because of the breadth of our services, DVIS has become a national model for violence prevention and intervention.