Notes from the shelter manager

Published 12:15 am Saturday, May 25, 2013

At any time of the day or night, the “intake” phone can ring … an incoming call from either the police or the sheriff’s department alerting us to a victim of domestic violence who needs our shelter for safety. Those of us who monitor this special phone carry it with us at all hours of the day and sleep with it next to us at night. We keep a small suitcase packed with some essentials in case we need to spend the night at the shelter, assisting our new client (and perhaps her children), settling them in for the night, before we write up the “intake” forms in the morning. You see, domestic violence can occur at any hour of the day or night, it can happen to anyone, of any socio-economic background, of any age, race or ethnicity.
At a recent training session I attended, it was reported that statewide, in 2011 there were 106 domestic violence murders in North Carolina; this number increased in 2012 to 122. While those of us in Beaufort County have not had a domestic violence murder occur since 2010, we know that it is very possible that one could happen again … right here in our quiet little community, to our friends and neighbors.
At Ruth’s House area residents who are ready to flee the violence and begin again are sheltered. While in the shelter they have the full services of a court advocate provided by the Center for Family Violence of Greenville. The court advocate’s office is in the shelter to provide ready access to help with filing protective orders and any other judicial needs related to the domestic violence. Also available in the house and also sponsored by the Center for Family Violence Prevention of Greenville is a counselor. The counselor is a licensed marriage and family therapist and is readily available to help the survivors of domestic violence work through any issues related to the violence they have been living in. The therapist can also work with the children to process their fears and to talk about their feelings.
Ruth’s House provides a safe haven for women and their children who are faced with domestic violence in their lives … it gives them a safe place in which to reside before the violence spins out of control and can end in death. Our volunteers, our church and organizational and private donors make this shelter possible. Without them, without you, our doors would not be open to minister to these women and children when they need us the most. Thank you!
Don’t stay in a dangerous situation. Call the crisis hotline today for help!!!!!

Ann-Marie Montague
Ruth’s House Shelter Manager