Only 18 and pregnant, “Katie” was emotionally and physically abused by her older, drug-addicted boyfriend. Beaten down, fragile and frightened, she felt trapped by invisible chains.
On one particularly violent day, he tried to drown her and wouldn’t let her put on dry clothes. What was intended to be a punishment turned into Katie’s saving grace. When she showed up at school completely drenched and shaking, her teacher convinced her to get help.
Thankfully, some very special people intervened and Katie found hope, stability and confidence to grow at SafeHouse of Seminole.
Unfortunately, not all women are so lucky. Some suffer in silence until it’s too late.
Don’t let that be you or a person you love.
Every nine seconds, another woman in the U.S. becomes a victim of domestic violence. On any given day in Florida, that translates to more than 3,000 women – from all socio-economic backgrounds – staying at a shelter or using provider-based services.
Locally, some 400 women and children found haven at SafeHouse of Seminole last year alone. Since 1995, our nonprofit has provided shelter, counseling services and outreach programs for thousands of people.
Domestic violence, of course, doesn’t stop at the county line. So our sister organizations – HelpNow Osceola and Harbor House in Orange County – stand right beside us, diligently serving other geographical areas.
Now more than ever, it’s important that we unite to find community wide solutions. Working together, let’s explore new ways we can give women the support, hope and healing they yearn for, empowering them with the courage, knowledge and tools they need to leave a violent partner.
For example, financial dependence is one of the most common reasons victims cite for staying in an abusive relationship. To counter this fear, SafeHouse recently launched the “Green Initiative,” a financial empowerment course that teaches them how to get and keep a job, save, budget, navigate government assistance and perform other crucial tasks.
Implementing these types of programs is just a small way we can team up to tackle a big problem. With the right approach and enough community support, Central Florida can end the cycle of violence.
On a personal level, if you are a victim of domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. Don’t wait to reach out. We are here for you.
Seminole: SafeHouse of Seminole, 885-655-7233
Orange: Harbor House of Central Florida, 407-886-2856
Osceola: HelpNow Osceola, 407-847-8562