Choosing the side of abuse survivors
This Putnam County domestic violence shelter needs a shed.
Three years ago, members of the local STOP coalition realized local survivors were opting not to enter a shelter, because the nearest ones were all the way in Huntington or Charleston. Maybe they could start their own.
Piece by piece, it came together. The Branches shelter in Huntington said they would partner. Folks started raising money. They found a building that was in disrepair.
“Everyone in this room, and many others, pitched in. We painted the walls. We fixed everything ourselves. Megan refinished the floors herself.”
This is what West Virginians do. We make do with less. We stick up for each other.
“This was a Godsend here. It changes how people respond to us when we are on the scene, to offer a place locally that can help,” offered Officer Craigo.
The space now offers spots for up to 8 people in crisis. They receive not only shelter and food and counseling, but also other assistance to help them outside these walls. The next thing the staff is working towards is having a shed on-site, so they can manage all the donations and provide even more resources to clients leaving the shelter. Want to build them one? Contact Megan at 304-586-3865.
We can have a state government that cares as much about preventing violence and healing survivors as these women do. We can have violence prevention and mental health resources in our schools. We can have a stronger safety net of CPS workers, hospital staff, and first responders who have the resources to respond to crises. We can have a criminal justice system that seeks to make survivors and families whole.
But only if we have a government where the people who are closest to the problem, are also the people in charge of the solution.
See a few of our plans to address these issues here: