Domestic Abuse Family Shelter can offer refuge from domestic storms

Family Abuse Shelter can offer refuge from domestic storms
Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - It can’t always be seen or heard, but that doesn’t mean that someone isn’t a victim of domestic violence.

For those stuck in a cycle of physical or mental abuse, it may be hard to leave or even find somewhere to go.

That’s why places like the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter exist.

The group has served 11 counties in southeastern Mississippi with two shelters for the last 40 years.

Both shelters are designed to ensure those experiencing abuse can escape and work to establish a foundation to build a better future.

“A lot of times, people might not be aware that they are involved in a domestic situation, and they need resources,” said Rebecca Stewart, Domestic Family Abuse Shelter director. “And some of the things that we can offer is safety planning, counseling, nonresidential counseling.

“We can help with legal advocacy outside of the shelter, so that is just things that they might not be aware of that we offer without coming into the shelter.”

Stewart said that people can call the shelter’s hotline at 1-800-649-1092 to get help ahead of leaving a violent situation.

“We can tell them to have birth certificates, driver’s licenses, any extra cash that they may have, leave those things with a trusted friend or a relative that you can count on,” Stewart said. “A lot of times it’s very unsafe when a person decides to leave and a lot of law enforcement agencies will tell you with domestic violence, that’s the time when murders can happen.”

For example, the shelter can be able to provide the following to those who reach out to the shelter:

  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Clean bed to sleep in
  • Assistance with medical care and dental care
  • Counseling
  • Child care.

The shelter works hard to make sure those in need know what’s available for them.

“We go to churches and speak to Sunday School classes and women’s groups and men’s groups,” Stewart said. “We have domestic violence intervention through the court system, We have a DV court in Hattiesburg. We go and pick up donations. We always have a need for if you use it at home every day, multiply that by fifty or sixty and that’s what we use every day.”

The shelter and hotline are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that no man, woman or child is stuck in an unsafe situation.

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