Several domestic violence agencies are expanding their services to provide longer term support for domestic violence victims.
Women Escaping a Violent Environment, better known as WEAVE, is completing construction on four cottages that will provide 16 beds for domestic violence victims and their kids.
The expansion allows clients to stay in a safe clean environment for up to 18 months. Emergency shelters normally provide housing for just a few weeks.
WEAVE Executive Director Beth Hassett says the bad economy has discouraged many victims from leaving their abusive partners.
“They’re just afraid to leave, they’re afraid they won’t be able to get a job, they’re afraid of losing the job they have and housing is at such a premium in our community it’s just too scary,” said Hassett.
The cottages are adjacent to the emergency shelter and to a school used for the children of victims. It’s located in a secret location to keep clients safe from stalking partners.
“We’ve been trying to overcome all these barriers by creating an entire campus that’s supportive for mom and the kids,” said Hassett.
My Sister’s House is trying to do the same for its clients. The non-profit specializes in helping Asian and Pacific Islanders who are victims of domestic violence. Executive Director Nilda Valmores agrees that the economy is a huge factor along with cultural barriers.
“They already carry a lot of guilt, a lot of baggage regarding leaving their homes and defying their cultural values,” said Valmores.
The agency just opened a home used to transition clients toward living on their own. It is also at a secret location and provides cultural support and nurturing atmosphere where victims feel safe.
“They don’t have to worry about being hit, being yelled at, being financially abused all the time,” said Valmores.
Statistics show that the longer victims can function on their own, the less likely they will return to their abusers.