Thirty-two domestic violence programs in Texas were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Family Services Women and Children’s Shelter was closed for 16 days and is still undergoing lots of repairs.
Countless survivors – both those in shelter, and those without – face unique vulnerabilities during this disaster. For those who have fled abuse in their homes to seek safety, the trauma of leaving is now compounded by the trauma of dealing with uncertainty, devastation, and disruption from the disaster.
Recently, a reporter from Public Radio International paid us a visit to hear what it’s like to be in the middle of a crisis and then have to deal with a natural disaster. Please listen to her piece here:
If you’ve ever been to the Family Services Women and Children’s Shelter you know that it is housed in a 60-year-old former nursing home complex. By its very nature, it is just very institutional looking.
At our most recent Southeast Texas Domestic Violence Task Force Panel Discussion, the experts focused on prevention. As victims advocates, we so often hear “Break the Silence… Break the Silence… BREAK THE SILENCE!”
That really is the main problem. To highlight that fact, we started the Panel event by watching a true story about a young mother named Amy that was murdered by her husband. Throughout the description of events, the audience is confronted with the sobering reality that Amy’s friends, family, coworkers, and even police and healthcare workers knew she was being abused.
And he still murdered her. At the end, the audience was left wondering what could have been done differently. And the Panel was ready with answers.
So often, we hear “why didn’t she just leave?”
Sgt. Yvette Borrero of BPD points out that “most women will take eight beatings before they leave.” It’s a sad statistic, but it’s true. At the Family Services Women and Children’s Shelter, we often see the same individual more than once.
Gasps, sighs, and sounds of exasperation were all that could be heard in the room of 70+ people. The documentary they were watching was moving and tragic. It wasn’t surprising to see jaws agape, heads shaking in disbelief.
But for the seasoned law enforcement and victims advocates in the room, “Telling Amy’s Story” was full of truths that were all too familiar.
Family Services is proud to offer a Transitional Housing Program (also known as Sunshine Cove Apartments) to women and children that have used our Domestic Violence Shelter services and are on their way to reclaiming their lives and livelihood.
This summer, HUD cut funding that was critical to the continued operation of Sunshine Cove.
The wonderful news is that…