What is abuse?
Abuse is the mistreatment of one person by another. Abuse is hitting, kicking, punching, yelling, or unwanted touching. Abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, and or psychological. Abuse is a crime punishable by law.
Who is an abuser?
Abusers are from every walk of life, racial and economic backgrounds, educational level, and age.
Are you being abused?
Am I afraid of this person? Do I feel belittled or degraded by this person? Is it important I do everything possible to keep this person happy? Do I feel worthless because of what this person does or says? Does this person hit me, or touch me, or do anything to me I don’t like? If the answer is YES to one of these questions, you may be an abused person.
What can you do about abuse?
You do not have to stay in an abusive relationship. Statistics show in situations where there is no intervention, abuse gets gradually worse.
Your safety and the safety of your children is the most important need you have.
You can leave. Even though you may be feeling at your weakest, you need to take control of the situation and do what is best for you and your children’s welfare and safety. You can file for an Order of Protection to shield you from the abuser.
What is the shelter like?
The two shelters vary slightly, but they are set up like a home. The name ‘shelter’ is misleading. It is simply a safe, warm, and friendly place where you and your family can escape abuse and focus on your goals. In most cases, each person/family is provided their own room in the house. Donations of food, clothing, and furnishing are readily available to all guests.
Are there rules?
The only ‘rules’ that are in place are for safety purposes. we trust that guests are making safe decisions. we do not take your cell phone, control who you have contact with, or prevent you from coming and going to work, appointments, school, etc…
What services are offered in addition to a place to stay?
The program offers advocacy services: including medical, personal, and legal. A case manager will meet with clients to set goals regarding education, employment, housing, parenting, and any other requested areas. The program offers support groups, life skills classes, and referrals for professional counseling if desired.
What happens when you call the hotline?
The call is answered by a trained volunteer or staff member. Basic information is requested about the caller and the situation. Both residential and non-residential services are available and offered. If residential services are desired, an advocate will respond and provide transportation for the caller if needed. If non-residential services are desired, a time is set up for the caller and the advocate to meet at a safe location.
Do you provide services to men?
Yes, we can provide services to men. Our shelter is set up for woman and their kids, but we can locate shelter for men in local hotels and a case manager can meet with men to provide the same services offered to women in the shelter.
Can the shelter help me relocate?
Yes, the shelter has contact information for shelter services throughout the state of Missouri and the country. Assistance can be provided in helping you relocate to one of these facilities by connecting with their office and by securing bus tickets.
What is the difference between residential and non residential services?
Residential services means that you live and reside in one of our shelters. Non-residential services simply mean that you live in your own home. Non-residential services are provided at secure and safe meeting places in the community. Victims who are not yet ready to leave the abusive environment are welcomed to initiate services to start planning and preparing to leave abusive situations and also to participate in support groups to gain power and control to leave.
What does living in a shelter look like?
It’s set up like a normal home you would live in. You in most cases will be given your own private room with a television. Our ‘family’ rooms have 2 or 3 beds. Meals may be cooked on your own or you may choose to cook collectively with other women in the shelter. The shelter is staffed 24 hours a day with volunteers or shelter staff. The front door of the shelter is secured at all times throughout the day.
I’m thinking of leaving an abusive situation, what things should I think about taking with me?
It’s important to bring your photo identification, birth certificate, and social security card so that you can secure many of the necessary services in moving forward. If children are involved it is recommended to bring their social security cards and birth certificates. Also remember your medications, important phone numbers, and important personal affects: pictures, family heirlooms. If you can plan ahead, it is best to start getting a bag together of these items and storing them in a secure location in your home or at a friends home. Often times you will not have an opportunity to return to retrieve other items, so it is recommended to take the essentials.
Under the contact us link I would list the shelter staff, victim’s advocate, and yourself along with each of our email addresses. Might be a good place to post a picture of staff, and we could each write about our roles with the agency.
Why do people stay in abusive relationships?
- She may have grown up in a violent atmosphere and feels it is normal.
- Fear, loneliness, she may feel she cannot find a home or support herself.
- Financially and emotionally dependent on the abuser.
- Worries about separating the children.
- Blames herself, feels pressure from outside sources to keep the marriage together, may love the abuser and hopes he will change.
- Feels she has no place to go and no one to turn to.
If you are in an abusive situation call the Toll Free Hotline right away at: 800-942-0649