Down East Seniors learn about Ruth’s House

Published 2:40 pm Friday, March 3, 2017

The Down East Seniors Club held its March 1 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Stewart Rumley led the meeting. Mark Eakes led the singing of “God Bless America” and Ed Bolen gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

There was one guest present.

Mark Eakes introduced Valerie Kines, executive director of Ruth’s House, as the speaker. Ruth’s House is the local shelter for abused women. Kines said that most domestic violence cases start small, and then escalate. The abuser will apologize for a wrong, and then later repeat it on a larger scale. The victim typically goes through eight or nine cycles of this before she decides she has to leave. Most victims are totally dependent on the abuser, so they have no place to turn except to the shelter. They make first contact by calling the Ruth’s House hotline. They will be given instructions on what to do next. They can go to the shelter, which is at an undisclosed location, only with a law enforcement escort. The shelter provides not only a safe place to stay, but also counseling, Social Service assessments and assistance in completing papers for domestic violence protective orders when needed. Many victims need Social Service assistance while they are gaining education to enable them to be employed. The shelter will accept victims from outside Beaufort County when they need to be well away from their abusers. Ruth’s House is a nonprofit that welcomes donations of cash, donations of goods for its antique store downtown and volunteers to work at the shelter.

Rudy Burns won the 50/50 drawing.