Growing up in an abusive home

Growing up in an abusive home

Growing up in an abusive home One of the volunteers at Sheltering Wings recently opened up to us about his own childhood. As a young boy, he lived in a family in which abuse was a constant part of life. He was what we call one of the silent victims of domestic violence — an innocent child who experienced horrors as his mother became the victim of years of brutality. When people hear stories like his, many ask, “Why didn’t his mother just leave?” It’s not that simple. As a mother, she was completely responsible for her children’s well-being. Where could she possibly go that would be safe from her abuser? He knows where her friends and relatives live. And even if she had a place to go, could she support the family? Domestic abuse is about control, and one of the first things many abusers do is take complete control of a family’s finances. Often, the woman doesn’t even know where the family’s money can be found. And there’s another hurdle women who are being abused frequently face: their friends and families don’t believe them. They accuse the women of lying or exaggerating. Or they suggest that maybe they just need to do a better job of being a wife. Being a better mother. Or being a better girlfriend. Many stay because it’s the only way they can provide stability for their children. So they endure the abuse and hope the children will survive. Physically, they probably will (although the potential for child abuse is much higher in homes with domestic violence), but what about the psychological damage?...
So what can you do about domestic violence?

So what can you do about domestic violence?

So what can you do about domestic violence? Dear friends, What makes Domestic Violence Awareness Month so important? I think part of it is similar to the impact that holidays have on our lives. They focus our attention on important matters at hand. We pray and worship all year long, but when Easter and Christmas arrive, we become immersed in the wonderful gifts God has given us, and our attention focuses on living our lives the best we can. We may be proud of our nation all year long, but on Independence Day and Veterans Day, that pride displays itself as we shed tears at the passing of flags in parades and cheer for fireworks. In the same way, we work to prevent domestic violence all year long. But Domestic Violence Awareness Month gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on the problem and its impact on those around us. It provides opportunities for the community to stand together in unity against abuse and for healthy relationships. It helps us educate others on the importance of providing new lives to people who have experienced abuse. As one of our loyal partners, you help us meet the needs of victims and educate our community all year long. We appreciate you all throughout the year, but this month, in particular, provides an excellent opportunity to say a special thank you for everything you do. You truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and all year long. Thank you so much! Abiding in Him, Cassie Martin Executive...
One of the Many Things Kids Need

One of the Many Things Kids Need

Dear Friends, Children need many things to grow up healthy. Among them are love, nourishment, and one you may not often think about: stability. For children to feel safe and confident, they must have a foundation of stability that can support them as they try to understand this complex world. When Mom brings them to a place called Sheltering Wings, that sense of stability becomes even more important, because their lives have been disrupted in dramatic ways. That’s why we appreciate the partnerships we have with local school districts. They work with us to ensure that there aren’t any gaps in kids’ educations. Their lives may be challenging, but they get to spend much of the day in familiar classrooms, with the teachers they love, and surrounded by their friends. Serving victims of domestic abuse is complicated, and it involves many facets that aren’t always obvious. One reason for our success is that we look beyond simply providing a safe haven to provide the support and resources each woman and each child needs to thrive and experience transformative change. Your prayerful support makes all that and more possible. Thank you for allowing us to bring stability to the lives of these precious young ones and their mothers! Abiding in Him, Cassie Martin Executive...
Key Elements to the American Way of Life…

Key Elements to the American Way of Life…

Dear Friends, This is the month in which we spend a lot of time talking about freedom and independence. Those are key elements of the American way of life … but they’re also very important to victims of domestic abuse. Much of the work we perform at Sheltering Wings is focused on freeing women from abuse and the fear that goes with it while helping them live safe, independent lives. But there’s another freedom that’s important here. We have to free women of the responsibility for the abuse they’ve suffered. So often, people blame victims of domestic violence, as if being abused was a conscious choice they made, and one they can stop at any moment. The fact is that the blame for abuse rests wholly with the abuser. There is never an excuse or valid justification for domestic abuse, and if we are going to succeed at eliminating it, we have to help abusers recognize that their behavior is unacceptable. Unless we begin to change the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of abusers, the only thing we’ll be able to do is help victims. I hope you’ll continue your prayerful support of the work Sheltering Wings does for women and children who are trying to escape abuse and discover the true freedom of living lives that are safe from violence and other forms of abuse. Thank you for everything you do.   Abiding in Him, Cassie Martin Executive...

It Takes a Community

Dear Friends, It takes a community to overcome the effects of domestic violence. You know that Sheltering Wings plays an important role, but we couldn’t transform the lives of women and children escaping domestic violence without a coordinated community response. That response includes a collaborative effort involving law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, the judicial system, schools and other educational organizations, churches, and many others. We all work together to address the many needs of victims as they restore and rebuild their lives, replacing fear with hope. It also includes you. You have the power to educate others around you about domestic violence’s impact. You can respond to friends and others who make uninformed statements or brush domestic violence off as somebody else’s business. And most of all, you can help someone in an abusive situation obtain help. A good place to start is our 24-hour Help Line at 317-745-1496. Thank you for your continued prayerful support of the work we do on behalf of women and children, and for being part of a community effort to eliminate domestic violence. Abiding in Him, Cassie Martin Executive...
Why Do They Stay?

Why Do They Stay?

Dear Friends, Do you ever wonder why victims of domestic violence stay with their abusers? It’s a common question, and there are many answers. You’ll see some on social media with the #whyistayed hashtag. One of the most frequent answers that we hear seems especially appropriate to discuss during the month of May: they’re mothers, and they want to protect their children. Their perspective is that by staying, they either continue to provide a place where their kids can live, or they may keep the abuser focused on themselves so he doesn’t touch the kids. And why do victims leave? Once again, it’s often because they’re mothers. They want to protect their kids. They don’t want them to be witnesses to abuse. And they don’t want the kids to grow up believing that abuse is a normal part of a relationship (again, there’s a hashtag you’ll see, #whyileft). No matter why victims stay or leave, Sheltering Wings is here to support them. Whether that involves bringing them to the safety of our shelter or giving them access to resources that help them find safety on their own, we’re dedicated to helping mothers and all victims enjoy stable, independent lives. Your generous and prayerful support makes that all possible. Thank you for everything you do to help mothers, their children, and all the others who seek to remove abuse from their lives. Abiding in Him, Cassie Martin Executive...