For those women who do not insist on going back to live with their ex-partner there can be difficulty in finding work, stability, and the ability to get back on their feet. However, with the help of donations, sponsors, and volunteers the amount of team work and effort allows for victims to have a way to become independent and prepared for life once they move out of the shelter.The shelter allows for women to stay for up to 90 days and provides 48 beds with donated items for women and children up to 18 of age.To run the shelter it takes close to $200,000 a year, but they only receive $15,000 in grants. Therefore, they are really big on accepting donations.
Some shelters involve case workers, counselors, and other support systems. SAFE specifically has two case workers, Daphiney Walker and Dorvan Rice. They both have been working at SAFE Shelter for over five years and enjoys their jobs very much.
"Working here has allowed me to connect with women on different levels", said Rice.
Rice has gained many relationships with the victims living in the shelter, from all ages and is shocked by the different stories that has been told to her. As a casework she knows that the stories that victims tell her are confidential and makes her want to stick around longer to make sure that those victims do not return back to their abusers.
Walker has been a case worker for 20 years and has been working with women shelters since 2008 . As a case worker she loves what she does. The children that she has encountered from working in these women shelters are magnificently brilliant."It is kind of sad seeing the younger children, because they do not understand what is going on or why they are living in a shelter surrounded by different women", said Walker.The caseworkers tend to not mention the children's fathers around them. They allow for the children to interact with each other by playing and doing homework together. Tutoring session are held in a room where there are desks and books, it looks like a miniature library.
"Sometimes volunteers from colleges and other schools come and access the children with their homework", she said. The volunteering can be found on the website as well as donation options.
There is a section on the website that is for blogs. Blogs for those women who are willing to tell their stories of being in abused relationships and their struggles on how difficult it was to escape those relationships. Providing a blog on the site with young adult women telling relatable stories will ensure for others to feel the courage to speak out and escape.
The last blog posted on the website from February 6, 2017 and is the most recent. According to the crisis line and the number of individuals still living in the shelter there are still many stories out there that are just waiting to be told.
Stories, like Monica Burgnister's, 20, Savannah Arts & Design student has a story that ensures how a college girl can become abused by a boyfriend who is controlling and just obsessed. There are relatable abusive relationships in colleges that are untold. Those who are in college tend to put it off from getting help, because they may feel that no one has the time to listen to them because of the overload amount of work that they have.
A woman age of 32 who goes by the name of "Pooch" in order to keep her identity unknown, says that the abuse in her relationship came from a place that she had never seen her lover go before. They were in love, she thought, and that a simple yell of aggression during an argument was completely normal.Of course, arguments in relationships are normal, but the yelling and the aggression in her lover's tone would happen too often. Pooch and her spouse had been married for nine years and the abuse started within the fourth year. It begin with just verbal abuse.
"He would call me out of my name at times, but I simply thought that it was normal", she said.
Eventually, their arguments had turned into disagreeing over some of the most minor things. Well, at least she thought they were minor. For example, if she accidently left the jelly out of the refrigerator he would blow up into a tantrum on how she was a child and did not know how to clean up after herself.To her, it was an accident. That particular morning she had made her lunch in the mist of rushing to work and simply forgot to put the jelly back in the fridge. It was not until months later after the verbal abuse turned into physical abuse.Pooch gained the courage to leave her spouse in January, she had thought of leaving numerous of times but did not actually put it into action.
"I would sneak and call domestic hotlines all the time; while he was sleep, in the yard, or watching tv. Any time I had a little distance from him I used it to the best of my ability".
Though, Pooch were calling these hotlines she did not physically go into their shelters. She felt that he would change, because they would still have good days. Those "good days" were easily turned into pouring rain if the littlest thing was to tick him off. When she had discovered SAFE Shelter she knew then that this was her time to move forward with no looking back.
She loved her husband, but she could not take the abuse any longer and had no way to reach out to family or friends. She did not want to reach out to them. While now she is on her third month of living in the shelter, she has felt as safe as she has ever been.
"I remember on my first day here I felt a little nervous, as if I was going to be judged", she said. That was an ironic thought considering the fact that it is a shelter for women that are trying to escape abuse. Pooch said, "There is no judging while living here. We all are one, one big power group of women".
As Pooch begin working on moving out of the home, she plans on dating again and maybe adopting. She wants to be able to speak out at local schools to inform young women on their self-worth and loving themselves. She talks to a lot of the volunteers at the shelter, those who are between 16 and 21 allowing them to listen to her story and hopefully take her situation into account before going through with any relationship.
In addition, it is so simple to think while hearing or reading the words "domestic violence" that it has to do with a female and a male in a relationship. However, in today's world it does not. There are same sex abuse just as it is with opposite sex. Unfortunately, it is a bit different seeing women in a shelter that have been abused by their girlfriends or even fiancés.
Take for instance "The Jacksons" is what they would call them throughout college. They had met in high school, but officially decided to date sophomore of college. It was no secret that they were two lesbians madly in love. They gave each other promise rings and got married in July of 2016.With them it is a bit different, because the abuse had always been in their relationship. It was more so of the spouse being controlling, but she thought that it was quite cute. She felt that maybe her fiancé's controlling behavior was out of jealousy. Jealousy to her meant that her spouse cared about her.
"It would be situations where she did not want me to post anything on Facebook without her seeing the picture first hand", she said. She did not see this type of action as a warning sign of being unhealthy, but more so as normal.
In relationships what some may view as "normal" in the eyes of others it can be viewed as abnormal. With jealousy there are different types. For example, a spouse being jealous over another person giving attention to his or her significant other, but does not stop that person from interacting with her peers. The other jealousy in this case is the spouse telling the significant other who is getting the attention to not interact or socialize with anyone while they are out together.
For the Jacksons, this played a significant role. At the age of 21, which they both are, everyone is usually trying to find themselves in this society, in some cases still want to fit in with the latest trend, all while trying to find a significant other. While telling this story, she explained how in their relationship she was the one who had lots of attention and was very social.Her fiancé, "Jazz" despised that with a passion. She wanted total control over everything. How she wore her hair, the type of clothes she wanted wear, who she could and could not talk to. "Once we decided to get married is when the physical abuse really started", she said.