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Because 30 days just isn’t enough time

Imagine that you just left a violent situation. You have no clothes with you, no money, no job, no transportation, no friends or family, and two children.

Can you be completely start your life over in 30 days?

We don’t think so either, which is why Peace at Home does not limit our clients’ stay in Shelter to 30 days. Having a safe place to go is incredibly important, but what is the point of clients coming into shelter if they don’t have a safe place to go AFTER their 30 days are over?

We believe beginning an independent life free from abuse takes time. We’d rather our clients’ stay with us a little longer and go on to live violence-free.

Why do the abused stay?

A lot of people ask us the question: Why does she stay?

We believe this is the wrong question. The questions we should be asking are: Why do assailants terrorize and torture their partners? Why does the community allow battering to continue? Why do we scrutinize and evaluate the survivor? When we focus on her, we avoid looking at the behavior and intentions of the perpetrator.

However, it is important to understand that each victim of abuse will have his or her own reasons as to why they remain in a violent relationship. Here is a list of common reasons why some victims sometimes stay for varying periods of time:

Fear of the batterer’s violence:

A victim’s chances of being killed or seriously injured increase by 75% when leaving a violent relationship. (Please call us at 479-442-9811 for safety planning. We can help).

Immobilization by psychological and/or physical trauma:

Victims are often too injured or too frightened to tell or escape.

Connection to the perpetrator through children:

Some stay in the relationship because of their beliefs and for the sake of their children’s need for a father, or because of the abuser’s previous threats to flee with the children, to have the children taken away, or to harm them.

Belief in cultural, family, or religious values:

Support systems are not always supportive of a victim leaving the relationship or seeking help. Family or religious systems can actually pressure a victim into staying in the violent relationship.

Continual hope and belief that the violence will end or he will change:

Victims believe promises made by the batterer and want the violence to end, but not necessarily the relationship. Victims believe that they have the power to change the relationship for the better.

Belief batterer will commit suicide or engage in self-destructive behavior:

Many batterers threaten suicide or use any means necessary to place guilt and worry on the victim.

The number one reason stay is they stay is lack of funds:

It costs approximately $1500 to set up household in the first month without housing assistance. Public housing lists are long, sometimes over six months, and many do not quality.

Lack of real alternatives for employment and financial assistance:

Domestic violence is the number one cause of loss of employment to women in the United States. There are limited funds available to assist victims of domestic violence as they begin to live independently. Many victims of domestic violence also do not have transportation to enable them to secure employment. In addition, many victims of domestic violence have been prevented from working or gaining education; therefore, their options for self-sufficiency are often limited.

There are lots of reasons why a victim of abuse might stay – but there is never, ever a reason to abuse.

2014 Dine Out for Peace

Peace at Home Family Shelter invites you to Dine Out for Peace on November 6, 2014!

Dine Out for Peace is a fun and easy way to support both local restaurants in our community and domestic violence survivors. All you have to do is dine out at one of our participating restaurants on Thursday, November 6 and a portion of your check will be donated directly to Peace at Home!

It’s that easy!

Eat, drink, and support survivors of domestic violence at these restaurants:

  • Z’s Brick Oven Pizza (All Day)
  • Fresco Café and Pub (All Day)
  • Ella’s Restaurant (All Day)
  • Lucky Luke’s BBQ (All Day)
  • Geraldi’s: The Italian Eating Place (All Day)
  • Acambaro: Springdale Location Only (Dinner)
  • Sassy’s Red House (Dinner)

Supporting the shelter doesn’t get much easier than this! And please be sure and thank our participating restaurants for their support! We could not do it without them!

Check out a few pictures from past Dine Out for Peaces:

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2014 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kickoff Event

On October 4, 2014, Peace at Home Family Shelter hosted its Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kickoff Event at the Jones Center in Springdale, AR.

Speakers:

Doug Sprouse, Mayor of Springdale
Ernest B. Cate, City Attorney-Springdale
John Threet, Washington County Prosecuting Attorney
Elizabeth Baker, domestic violence survivor
Teresa Mills, CEO Peace at Home Family Shelter 

During the event, we displayed our Silent Witnesses. These witnesses represent the 12 Arkansas Victims of intimate partner homicide and the 6 Arkansas victims of family homicide from 2013. The Silent Witness Project is a nationwide awareness campaign mourning the tragedy of domestic homicide and challenging the community to increase safety for victims and hold abusers accountable.

The event finished with a Silent Vigil Walk honoring those who lost their lives last year.

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Meet Our Transitional Services Coordinator

 

Maria Meet Our Staff

Name: Maria

When did you begin working at Peace at Home?

I began as a social work intern back in 2011. I then became a Weekend Advocate, then a Shelter Advocate, and now I am the Transitional Services Coordinator for the SHE (Safe Housing Enterprise) Program.

Why did you decide to join the Peace at Home team?

I am a licensed Social Worker, and I’m passionate about the work I do with my clients and feel honored to contribute to the shelter’s overall mission.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Outside of my work, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and doing things that challenge my body and mind!

 

Meet our Justice System Specialist

Kelly Meet Our Staff

Name: Kelly

When did you begin working at Peace at Home?

January 2013.

What is your role at Peace at Home?

My job title is “Justice System Specialist,” which essentially means that I’m a legal advocate. I assist clients with their legal issues, whether that be by helping them file for orders of protection, supporting them during their divorce and custody hearings, or aiding them with their u-visa applications. I also work with members of the justice system to coordinate and strengthen the system’s response to domestic violence.

What did you do before you began working for Peace at Home?

I was a Human Rights Consultant for Vital Voices in Washington, DC.

Why did you decide to join the Peace at Home team?

Up until I joined Peace at Home, most of the work I had done in the human rights field was at the policy level. After working to combat human trafficking, sexual violence, domestic violence, and other human rights violations from the top down, I wanted to gain experience addressing such issues “on the ground,” where I could see how the policies we have in place are or aren’t working for the individuals they affect.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Travel!

Financial Empowerment

By Jamie Kern, Development Associate

The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is all about helping people learn to recognize domestic violence and financial abuse, talk about it, and stop it.

Our Board supports the #PurplePurse because 8/10 Americans don’t associate finical abuse with domestic violence, but it is the number one reason women stay in and return to an abusive situation.

Check out this picture of some our Board Members with the purse charms and Coach purple purses The Allstate Foundation provided to Peace at Home.

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Financial Empowerment

Many survivors were cut off from financial decisions for their households. As a result, financial basics including budgeting, credit/debt, saving, and even balancing a checkbook are often new experiences for women establishing violence-free lives. Peace at Home Family Shelter’s advocates are each trained to provide in-depth financial independence assistance to clients including, but not limited to, cleaning up credit history, budgeting, and opening checking and savings accounts. In addition to advocates working with clients individually on financial empowerment goals, Peace at Home Family Shelter also hosts a yearly Financial Seminar intended to provide education on different aspects of personal finances for victims of domestic violence who have often experienced financial abuse.

During the ten hour seminar/workshop, clients learn about the dynamics of financial abuse; different strategies for financial empowerment; and options/resources that can help with financial independence and stability. We use the “Moving Ahead through Financial Management” curriculum from Allstate – a comprehensive package of financial tools and information designed to empower victims and survivors to be self-sufficient with their finances. It educates and trains advocates and Allstate volunteers to work with domestic violence victims as they move forward on the path to financial security.

The curriculum includes:

  • Approaches for locating and accessing local, state and national personal safety and financial resources;
  • Information on how individuals can protect themselves personally and financially while remaining in an abusive relationship and after leaving an abusive relationship;
  • Strategies for dealing with the misuse of financial records;
  • Strategies for addressing the complex financial and safety challenges of ending a financial relationship with an abusive partner;
  • Strategies for working through the financial and safety challenges of identity change;
  • Strategies for accessing economic empowerment resources used nationwide. Strategies include individual development accounts, micro-enterprise development programs and emergency assistance funds; and
  • Tools to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term economic empowerment.

After attending the seminar, many of our clients open and manage their own checking accounts for the first time; use strategies to create savings plans to work toward owning a home, going to school, or starting a business; create budgets; use available community resources to assess, fix, or improve credit scores; and become much more aware of ways to secure their personal information to prevent fraud and future financial abuse. We believe our comprehensive advocacy which includes financial independence assistance works. In 2013, 83% of the clients we served did not return to their abuser.

To donate to the Purple Purse Challenge please visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/purplepurse-peacefamilyshelter

To learn more about The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, please visit: http://purplepurse.com/

Meet Our Development Associate

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Name: Jamie

When did you begin working at Peace at Home?

In April of 2012. I still can’t believe it’s been over two years!

What is your role at Peace at Home?

My main role is letting our community know why they should support the shelter and ending domestic violence. It is also my job to let our supporters know what their investments allow us to accomplish. I also get the pleasure of communicating our thanks to everyone (THANK YOU!!!)

What did you do before you began working for Peace at Home?

Before I came to Peace at Home, I earned my master’s degree in communication from the University of Arkansas.

Why did you decide to join the Peace at Home team?

I believe in our clients. They are strong and brave and they inspire me every single day. People often thank me for what I do, but they shouldn’t. Every day I get to work with a team of people who give everything they have to help our clients. Every day I get to see women and children begin violence-free lives. So really, I should thank Peace at Home for letting me be part of their mission.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a TV addict – you name the show, and I probably watch it. My favorite is, of course, “The Office.” I watch at least one episode every single day!

Purple Purse Bonus Challenge #4

As most of you now know, Peace at Home Family Shelter was selected to participate in The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge. The Purple Purse Challenge is a fundraising campaign for charities benefiting domestic violence survivors. Basically, different domestic violence shelters across the country are competing to raise the most money. The organization that raises the most gets $100,000!

And, there will be weekly Bonus Challenges for organizations to win up to another $80,000.

And, the best part of the Challenge is that even if we don’t win any of the grand prize money, we get to keep the money we raise during the campaign. So, so great!

Today, Bonus Challenge #4 begins!

The next 200 donations of at least $50 will get a $50 match. So…if you donate at least $50 right now, we will get $50 added to our cause. Such a great way to win some extra cash for our organization.

Please click here and give at least $50. This is all about individual donations of over $50 so if you were wanting to give $100, break it up into two donations of $50 and we’ll get an extra $50 for each of those donations.

50 Match

Meet Our Director of Operations

Melissa Why I serve

Name: Melissa

When did you begin working at Peace at Home?

I started working here in November of 2007.

What is your role?

I am responsible for the day to day operations of the Shelter. I make sure our building is in top working order, handle any and all maintenance issues, and ensure that the building is safe and secure for all of our clients and employees.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a native of Northwest Arkansas – born and raised. I have three children, five grandchildren, and two dogs.

Why did you decide to join the Peace at Home team?

I loved Peace at Home’s mission, and I wanted to be a part of their team.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love attending farm auctions, riding 4-wheelers, and playing with my grandkids.