Posts Tagged womens shelters

Why It’s Hard to Leave: The Complicating Factors of Domestic Violence

5 Things You Should Know About Domestic Violence

domestic violenceDomestic violence affects one in three women and one in four men in the United States. In addition, 15 percent of all violent crimes involve intimate partner abuse. It’s common for concerned loved ones to wonder, “Why won’t they just leave?” It’s difficult to imagine why someone would stay in a home where their safety is threatened.

If you’ve never been in a domestic violence situation, it’s hard to grasp the complexity of the factors that impact a victim of domestic violence. Here are five facts you need to know to better understand your loved one’s situation:

It happens every nine seconds. Domestic violence is common, and every nine seconds a person experiences intimate partner abuse with a total of 10 million people being abused by their partner each year. There are more than 200,000 calls come in to domestic violence hotlines yearly.

It affects men, too. While women are the primary victims of domestic violence, coming forward to report abuse can be complicated for men in different ways than for women. Men are often stigmatized for their situation and ridiculed because they are being victimized by their partner.

Victims often face the blame. Real-life situations are more complicated than what’s often depicted on television, and people often blame a victim for provoking their partner.

Leaving isn’t easy. Victims of domestic violence are often encouraged to just leave, but it’s often a decision that affects many things. They may fear the loss of financial support from their partner, or if there are children involved, they grieve their child’s loss of relationship with their other parent. Also, no matter how dysfunctional the relationship is, the victim may focus on how their partner is when they are not abusing them and keep talking themselves out of leaving. It’s important to recognize that leaving doesn’t guarantee that the violence will end; in fact, the victim’s risk of being seriously injured or killed increases when they are preparing to leave or have recently left the abuser.

What to do if someone you know is in a domestic violence relationship. Think about it. If a friend called you today in a domestic violence crisis, do you know how to help them connect with the right services and get help? Try these steps:

  • Listen to them, believe their story and let them tell you their story at their own pace.
  • Offer them a place to stay or help them find a shelter.
  • Do not get involved personally with their abuser – instead, focus on listening and identifying resources.
  • Try to understand your loved one’s reasons for staying, and offer financial help and childcare assistance if you can and encourage them to get help.

The YWCA of St. Joseph offers immediate and long-term help for women who are experiencing (or have experienced) domestic violence. The Shelter and the Bliss Manor Housing Program help many women and their children each year escape the violence and rebuild their lives with a vision for the future. YWCA victim advocates are available at MOSAIC for immediate assistance/advocacy. We also offer professional counseling for victims as well as a 24-hour crisis hotline at 816-232-1225 or 1-800-653-1477.  These services are offered at no cost. To learn more, visit our website.

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Are You Aware of How Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace?

Are You Aware of How Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace?

Domestic Violence is Believed Responsible for 8 Million Lost Work Days

Did you know that one of the most likely perpetrators of violence at work is often someone’s abusive domestic partner? Perhaps because these stories aren’t often told on the evening news, many employers have largely adopted a “wait and see” attitude toward domestic violence. It is important to be aware of how domestic violence can impact the workplace – and share this message with others.

Continued violent behavior is unlikely to remain contained in the home. Sooner or later the abuser will follow the partner to a predictable location – such as work and other places where they frequently travel. Experts highlight that a large number of those who are living with domestic abuse experience related issues at their place of employment.

Domestic violence also affects work performance. It is estimated that 8 million paid work days are lost due to this problem and close to 40 percent report difficulty finding and maintaining work because of domestic abuse. It’s a safety issue, a mental health issue and a productivity issue, and many workplaces are simply unprepared to deal with it.

While employers cannot resolve issues of domestic violence directly, they can offer survivors a safe place to investigate resources and options
. Since most abuse shelters are contacted during mid-day business hours, it is likely that survivors may wait until the abusive partner is at work or they themselves are at work (and away from danger) in order to seek help. Employers who become aware of abusive relationships can let employees know that work hours are acceptable times to make calls they need to make to escape domestic violence.

It is important that your workplace have a written policy regarding domestic and sexual violence.  You can find sample forms to help guide you in developing your own policy at   There are also online resources which can give advice about how to protect yourself while at work from the harassment of an abusive partner. The St Joseph YWCA  provides shelter, counseling and can steer survivors toward other needed resources. If you or a co-worker close to you is confronted with the dangers of domestic violence, make the call to our YWCA crisis line. We’re here to support you.

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Victims of Domestic Violence Find Space to Regroup in Supported Housing

Victims of Domestic Violence Find Space to Regroup in Supported Housing

Bliss Manor Supported Housing Helps Women and Children Find a New Start

Homes where domestic violence occurs can be chaotic in many ways. Not only is personal safety uncertain, but many times things like income, food and utilities can be erratic as well. At Bliss Manor we help women and children looking to escape domestic violence by providing a safe, consistent home. Supported housing provides space for victims of domestic violence to find needed employment and the chance to find permanent housing for a new future. Supported housing offers the answer to a critical challenge facing women who are homeless or are escaping domestic abuse, meeting their needs for safe, supportive transitional living space.

Finding Hope for a Better Future

Creating a new future can seem daunting for anyone, but when a person has been living under extreme stress for extended periods of time, finding hope that things can be different can be especially challenging. At Bliss Manor, not only do we provide women and children with a clean, safe and secure temporary home, but we also come alongside families with the hope they need to move forward. We provide services for children, resources for parents and help in creating a personalized goal plan that outlines concrete steps toward a better life.

Bliss Manor is Making a Difference

In 2015, our supported housing sheltered 42 adults and 37 children with 17,393 nights of safe and supportive living. Each and every woman (100 percent) who spent time at Bliss Manor developed her own goal plan with 78 percent of them going on to either secure permanent, private housing or to enter a treatment facility. Our staff provided 1,323 hours of individual case management or advocacy. We view all these milestones as major successes and good news for women and children looking for the chance to make a fresh start.

A Safe Home, a Fresh Start

By alleviating a woman’s most immediate concern – the need to provide a safe and stable home environment for herself and her kids – supported housing frees women up to address other pressing things. Most of the time women need to find steady employment. At Bliss Manor, we seek to enable women to find steady, satisfying work that will support their needs and the needs of their family. If that requires added education, we work with women to find ways to help that happen. If it means getting help with health issues, addiction issues or other obstacles, we look for available resources.

Victims of domestic abuse can find a new and better future. At the St. Joseph YWCA we believe in empowering women to be their very best. We believe in taking steps to help women in crisis so that they can begin anew. If you are a woman in crisis, don’t wait – come talk with us. If you’d like to be part of empowering women, we welcome your support in a variety of ways. Providing a safe home is a small gift that can make a huge difference.

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How You Can Help Support the Local YWCA St Joseph Women’s Shelter?

How You Can Help Support the Local YWCA St Joseph Women’s Shelter?

Easy Ways to Support the YWCA St. Joseph’s Women’s Shelter and Make a Difference

Women and children who’ve been victimized by domestic violence can find shelter and safety at the YWCA St Joseph – but we need your help to provide many of the basic needs these families require as they heal and move forward.

The facts about domestic violence are consistently alarming. We know that 25 percent of all women experience domestic violence. The reality is that 33 percent of females are sexually abused by the time they turn 18, and 40 percent of adolescent girls know someone personally who’s been struck by a boyfriend. Many times, the danger of domestic violence actually increases during the term of a woman’s pregnancy.

Yet, because of the YWCA St Joseph and many caring community members, women facing these kinds of dangers have somewhere to go. (But we need your help to help meet the need in our community). Here are just a few ways you can help your YWCA St Joseph Shelter for Abused and Homeless Women and Children:


  • The next time you host a baby shower or child’s birthday party, use the opportunity to collect for our shelter. Invitees can bring something very small – like a personal hygiene product – or they could bring a second gift such as crayons and a color book, a stuffed animal, a book or puzzle to be given for use by families in the shelter.


  • Have your social or business group make a collection of needed items. It could be a one-time collection or you could collect all year at each regular meeting.


  • Reach out to other groups. Share the need for our local shelter and some basic information about the shelter here in town. Bring attention to the topic of domestic violence and give other groups the chance to give.


  • Make a personal donation. Your donation could be a one-time gift or you could donate gift cards on a semi-regular basis. (There is a 50 percent tax credit available for gifts of $100 or more!)

Currently the YWCA St Joseph shelter has two specific needs you could help to meet:

  1. Our families are in need of personal and feminine hygiene products. This includes things like toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, soap, baby wipes or feminine products.
  2. We are collecting items for Easter baskets to be handed out to families living in our shelter. Things like candy, small toys or gifts, kids’ socks and undergarments are needed. So, too, are spring coats.


At the YWCA St. Joseph we believe in empowering women. To be empowered, women and their children need a way to escape a victim situation and begin a new hope for their future. Today, we invite you to help us help families in crisis and become part of a brighter community for everyone.

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