The First Step — Victim Services of Dallas County offers help to victims of domestic violence.

Services include a support group on the third Thursday of every month at the church next to the Dallas County Area YMCA in Buffalo from 6-7:30 p.m.; help filling out ex parte requests; attending court with victims; providing safety planning; and helping victims find temporary shelter.

The group’s mission statement reads, “The First Step — Victim Services of Dallas County’s mission is to provide direct services that assist and empower victims of abuse and their children, fostering a better understanding through community education, and prevent domestic and sexual violence by advocating for positive changes.”

The seven board members include Ashley McCowan, president; Brandy Maddux, vice president; Ashlyn Kintner, treasurer; Jaimie Boltz, secretary; and Jonathan Barker, Chris Covert and Herb Cody, board members.

Victims of domestic violence who need support may call (417) 313-4148 or email

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