2019 Starfish Luncheon

Women In Distress

“Women In Distress keeps moms and kids like me safe.”

 

Dear Friend,

Women In Distress keeps moms and kids like me safe.

I was too little to remember everything that happened to my Mom. What I do remember is feeling sad and afraid. I remember being happy during the day when we were at school. But when night came, the fighting started. And one night, I woke up to see my Mom being hit. I was always afraid for my mom. But I was too young to do anything about it.

For a long time, all I wanted to do for my Mom on Mother’s Day, and every day in between, was to make sure she was safe. My brother, Elijah and I were always afraid of what might happen next.

My Mom told me she wanted to keep a home for us. With no job she didn’t know how she would take care of me and my brother. Then a friend told her about Women In Distress.

With the help of Women In Distress, my Mom left the abuse and found a way to take care of us. While we were in the shelter, my Mom’s advocate invited her to classes that helped her to get a job.

I saw my Mom’s confidence grow. One day she came back to our room at the shelter to say that she had found a job. With a new job and new confidence, and the help of our Women In Distress advocate, we could find a place of our own. A place where I didn’t have to be afraid of waking up and seeing my mom being hit.

I’m older now and we’ve been gone from the abuse long enough that now I don’t feel sad and afraid. It’s a Happy Mother’s Day for us because my Mom is safe, and I know it’s because of the help she found at Women In Distress. I’m very grateful to Women In Distress for helping my mom to find hope.

Sincerely,

Andy*

 

*In an effort to protect the privacy of our families, names were changed and stock images used.


Your gift this Mother’s Day has the power to impact the lives of thousands of moms, women, and children, who find themselves in the unfortunate cycle of domestic violence abuse. Only with the continued support of donors like you, will survivors continue to have access to the help they need through programs and services such as safe emergency shelter, a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, safety planning, counseling, therapy, and other specialized services like an injunction for protection to keep themselves and their children safe.

Your donation today, in honor of your mom or other significant woman in your life, will bring hope to survivors of domestic violence not only on Mother’s Day, but on every day throughout the year.

Click here to make a monetary donation.

Click here to download Mother’s Day Flyer.


 

“I learned that I don’t have to put up with abuse.”

That’s what Amelia*, one of the teens participating in our Teen Dating Violence Awareness classes taught by Women In Distress Education Specialists, said. It seems like an obvious statement, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Nearly 1.5 million teens in the United States experience physical abuse from a dating partner during the year. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control who has labeled teen dating violence a public health issue. Teen dating violence is so prevalent that the quality of life for many teens is disproportionately affected. There is overwhelming evidence that this issue can be prevented, but many times preventative measures are not in place.

The seriousness of teen dating violence hits home when we hear stories like Jessica’s*. Her 15 year old boyfriend threatened her within an inch of her life for wearing something he didn’t like to school one day. The abuse got much worse, and became physical before she finally decided to leave, eight years later. It hits even closer to home when we hear stories like the 16 year old teen in Maryland, who broke up with her boyfriend and didn’t come home from school the next day because her ex-boyfriend was so enraged that he took his father’s gun to school and fatally shot her.  As a matter of fact, numerous news stories point out that teen dating violence can be an indicator of gun violence and even those who are not a part of the relationship can get caught in the cross fire.

That’s where Women In Distress comes in. In the spirit of prevention, our Teen Dating Violence Awareness classes empower teens to recognize the beginnings of abusive behavior. It also makes them aware of the resources they need to exit abusive relationships safely. Teens attend classes free of charge. And, just like Amelia* our participants learn that they don’t have put up with abuse.

As we spread the word to teens in middle and high school students throughout Broward County we’re fulfilling our mission of stopping domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy.

*In an effort to protect the privacy of our families, names were changed and stock images used.