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After Living Through Domestic Violence, Coming to Shelter Felt like Entering Open Arms

For Olympia, escaping domestic violence to one of our shelters was not only important to her future, but her children’s.

Read how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) supports domestic violence shelters where survivors like Olympia find safety.

*Olympia endured physical and verbal assaults from her partner. Her children, especially her eldest son who was now old enough to understand what was happening, witnessed the abuse. It had gone on for years and she was terrified. Olympia called our Domestic Violence Hotline and told one of our Advocates that she could not go on living like this.

domestic violence hotlines safe horizonA Hotline Advocate responds to a call on our domestic violence hotline, available 24/7.

She wanted to find a safe place in one of our shelters. Her call was one of the 98, 104 calls answered by our Hotlines in 2016. The Advocate was able to find an opening for her and her family to heal at Lotus House; one of our eight Domestic Violence Shelters. For Olympia, escaping to shelter was not only important to her future, but her children’s.

Finding Critical Relief at Lotus House

After living through domestic violence, coming to shelter felt like entering open arms,” Olympia says. Olympia was assigned a case manager to support her through the healing process. She told the case manager that although she was relieved to find safety for her and her family, she had difficulty opening up about the abuse because “talking about it didn’t make the abuse go away.

lotus-house-domestic-violence-shelterOne of the common areas at Lotus House decorated for a holiday party.

The supportive environment at Lotus House encouraged Olympia to feel safe and eventually she was able to start talking about her situation. She felt this was an instrumental element to her healing. As she puts it, “I am most appreciative of the warm, welcoming staff that has always been willing to help me and my children get back on our feet.

lotus-house-domestic-violence-shelter-playroomThis warm and inviting room at Lotus House is full of toys for children to play with.

Once Olympia and her sons started to work with a therapist and began to heal emotionally, becoming financially stable was her next step on the path to move forward. Our on-site vocational specialist provided guidance for her to decide what the next steps in her career should be. She was able to find a job working with developmentally delayed persons, a new career move for her in an area that had always interested her.

Today, Olympia and her children are looking forward to moving into permanent housing. She is earning an income on her own and has come a long way in a short time. “Thanks to Safe Horizon, my children and I were able to save the little bit of pride that we have left. The shelter respectfully took care of us, which helped me to take care of them.” Olympia is one of 715 clients, and her children are among the 1, 060 children, who were able to find safety at one of our eight domestic violence shelters in 2016.

Help shelter residents like Olympia move from crisis to confidence by supporting our work. You can change a life today.