Domestic Violence Shelters

Domestic violence shelters are used by individuals dealing with domestic violence issues in their home. These shelters are used for a variety of reasons. The much needed safety and security is essential, but there are several other benefits as well. It's also important to realize that shelters and other domestic violence help are available for both men and women.

The Story of Two Domestic Violence Shelters
Watch to learn more about how such shelters provide help.

More at Rose Brooks Center, Kansas City, MO

 More at Huron Women's Shelter, Ontario

The Purpose of Domestic Violence Shelters

When a person is in a violent relationship it is hard to leave their spouse or lover. When fear is established it becomes hard to leave, especially if you believe there will be physical harm. The situation becomes worse if children are involved, which makes it even harder for some victims to leave.

Domestic violence shelters understand this mindset and will look out for a victim's best interests. Their purpose is to give you a place to stay during very trying times and provide plenty of other services as well.

How A Shelter is Managed

There are two ways that domestic violence shelters get managed. They are either funded and run by governments, or they start as a non-government organization. It could be a church in your local area, a feminist movement, or other volunteer establishments.

Each form of shelter has their own management rules, so it's not unusual for victims to stay at a shelter on a trial basis to get a better feel for them before deciding to stay longer. For instance, if you receive domestic violence help from a church related shelter, they might require you to partake in their religious services.

Whereas, if you enter a shelter managed by a group within a strong feminist movement, then they might put you into group discussions in which thoughts are expressed according to modern feminist philosophies.

The point is; BE AWARE, and do not be afraid to listen and learn but apply your own good values.

Availability for Men

Society tends to associate domestic violence with women, but there are battered men as well. Unfortunately it has taken so long to entice women to come forward about their issues; we haven't been able to see the same accomplishments with men experiencing the same problems.

However, there are shelters out there specifically for men. While the basics of security and safety are present in these shelters you can find other benefits surrounding them. A few of them will help in other areas as well like; orders for protection (false allegations of male abuse towards a woman), custody, visitation, divorce and even child support issues.

How long will a Person Stay in these Shelters

Time in Domestic Violence Shelters

It really depends on the situation a person is dealing with presently. Some individuals may only need to stay for one night. Then again, there are others who will stay anywhere from one to two months. A lot of it revolves around your needs and the steps you will be taking to overcome domestic violence issues.

The good news is a domestic violence agency will do everything they can to help you.

Keeping Confidentiality

Since safety is a major concern with domestic violence, it's important to find a location that has the appropriate confidentiality. In most cases this is an extremely gray area. If you feel the need to start your life over there always seems to be a government trail of your records.

Each establishment deals with this issue in their own way, so before you decide to pick a specific domestic violence shelter we recommend asking about their confidentiality policies.

Other Help within Domestic Violence Shelters

When you're a victim of domestic violence it's considered a traumatic experience. This is one of the reasons it has been hard for men and women to come forward. A domestic violence agency provides counseling to help individuals who struggle with their own identities after a situation has taken place.

In order to press charges and go through the court system you're going to need legal assistance. Sometimes the cost can be a bit overwhelming, but a domestic violence shelter will usually help in this area as well. They can even find you an apartment or other living area if there isn't anything available at their shelter.

How to find a Shelter

The Internet offers resources for finding different domestic violence shelters in your local area. However, it's a good idea to research all the options you're interested in using. You want a place that is going to attend to your personality and needs and offer all the necessities to get your life back.

Most of the shelters have hotlines available that will help you get started. Even if your research is for someone else, you can make the initial call. The problem is, you, your friend, or family member must be willing to accept the problem at hand and recognize the fact that it's not right to let abuse continue.

It's very important that you're discreet about your research. If you're still leaving with an abuser then delete your history files from the computer. The less they know the better, especially if you truly want to break away from the agony.

What is it Like at a Shelter?

A lot of victims want to know what it's like to stay in a domestic violence shelter. Your experience will differ from one location to another. If you're an individual dealing with domestic abuse then your stay will probably be in more urban areas. You will probably have a curfew and various other rules to abide by.

If you have children, then it means you're probably going to stay in a rural area. Sometimes these organizations will only accept certain cases, so make sure you take the time to research them first. Then there are women's refugee areas that help you set new goals and stick to them.

In the end, domestic violence shelters can give you the safety net needed to feel better about yourself and begin a new life. Just find the time to look over all the options available and give each one of them a call. They will definitely give you a chance to overcome the situation you and your children might be in right now.

Return from domestic violence shelters to more resources for domestic violence help ...