BENEFITING: Womens Shelter Of Central Arkansas Inc
Carrie Curtis wrote -
The Women's Shelter of Central Arkansas provides free emergency shelter, food, and clothing to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. We provide a 24-hour crisis phone line and services to clients. We also offer court advocacy, Spanish bilingual services, children’s advocacy and programming, community education, support groups, and a volunteer program.
Domestic violence does not discriminate; it reaches across all demographics in terms of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and educational background. We assist any person who meets the criteria for emergency intervention and assistance due to domestic violence or sexual assault.
From a client:
My name is Marie and this is my story. I was living in Chicago during the winter time with the father of my twins and I began to feel threatened, I began to feel scared for my life and what might happen. One night, after planning for a couple of weeks and packing up, I decided it was time. He left, I got the kids dressed and we got in the car and drove. Drove downtown, put some gas in the car and drove. It was about 1 a.m. when we left. I pulled over to rest and the next day began having car trouble. I finally made it to Arkansas after 3 or 4 days to my sister's house. I was not able to stay with her and so I found myself at the Women's Shelter of Central Arkansas. I was scared, full of swallowed pride and shame.
I was greeted with friendly and caring faces yet still unknown. We completed the intake process and were shown to our room. We rested, finally feeling safe. The time I was able to stay at the shelter allowed me to collect myself and make the start of a new life. Art Mondays were my favorite days; I was able to release what I was feeling through art with the other women. I was able to give my kids the most normal environment given the situation. The amazing volunteers who came to watch the kids in the back yard while we had our groups gave us a chance three times a week to have a little break. Tuesday’s support group allowed us to talk about things that had happened. I realized in that group, things that were happening to me that were a form of abuse. We tend to only think about the physical signs we see of abuse, but there are many other ways I have learned. Thursday’s group we talked about our futures, and plans, and we also frequently played games. I loved Thursdays also because it was our chance to have a little fun. There was one volunteer who was a former resident, graduating college and moving to a new city. Seeing her around and accomplishing her goals gave me the extra hope I needed; To know everything would be OK as long as I worked hard enough.
Somewhat quickly I found a job. Turned out to be the best job I have ever had, with people who really care. People that heard about my situation, and when it was time to move into our own place, all donated household items we would need. It was one of the biggest displays of compassion and empathy I have had the honor to experience.
In one year I have tripled my income since the day I started, I work with amazing individuals who have become mentors. I have the people at the shelter to thank for playing a vital role in my new journey. My story is one of triumph, and perseverance and determination. Thank you.