From the Director

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?... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more

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A Bold Proposal

Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it. — PROVERBS 22:6  I HAVE A BOLD PROPOSAL: we should celebrate Christmas in November and Thanksgiving in December. It seems backwards that we spend a Thursday in November expressing gratitude for life’s blessings, and just hours later, we’re celebrating consumerism at Black Friday sales to kickoff the Christmas season. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Of course, it’s tough to change traditions. And when those traditions don’t make sense, we just shrug our shoulders and accept them. Most of the time, that’s harmless. But for some families, what has become traditional is unhealthy and downright dangerous. I think about that each time a child comes to live with us. What have they seen at home and how are they processing it? What unhealthy attitudes about relationships have become normal? What patterns do they repeat because they’ve been modeled at home? I vividly remember one little boy looking at his mother and saying, “I’m going to hit you in the head and you will die.” He wasn’t being angry or malicious. He was simply repeating what he had heard the adults in his home say. That’s why our work with children is so critical. If we can break that cycle of abuse and prevent little boys and girls from growing up in homes where domestic violence is a way of life, we’ll achieve a true victory. This holiday season, I hope you’ll create wonderful memories (and maybe some new traditions) with your family. And I’ll spend my family’s traditional...

Making a Difference

At a recent meeting, I was asked to create a pie chart showing how we divide our time between providing services directly to domestic violence victims and delivering prevention and education services. Then I was asked to create a pie chart showing what we wanted the proportion to be in 15 years. My dream is that our prevention and education efforts become so successful, allowing that piece of the pie to grow as demand for services to victims shrinks. What would that take? What new programs and services are needed? Which existing programs should we expand? What resources do we need to gather?

Groundwork For Transformation

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.— ROMANS 12:2 The words “conform” and “transform” may end the same way, but they produce very different results. When you conform, you comply with rules and behave the way society expects. Transformation, on the other hand, involves a dramatic or complete change in your form, appearance, or character. Our first priority is providing emergency housing for women and children who are escaping domestic abuse. Once their safety is assured, we lay the groundwork for transformation through Life Skills programs and services that build self-sufficiency. We want them to deeply understand that they are worthy of honor and respect. We want them to eagerly reach out and take advantage of the educational and occupational opportunities available to them. We want them to learn how to cope with stress, manage anger, and parent more effectively. We want them to develop all the skills they need to live safely and independently, from budgeting to self-advocacy. When a woman arrives at Sheltering Wings, our goal isn’t for her to simply conform to society’s standards. We hope she’ll experience a transformation that will dramatically change her today and every day for the rest of her life. Her transformation is our ultimate goal. Sheltering Wings...

Escaping Domestic Abuse

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.— TIMOTHY 1:7  I’ve occasionally wondered if using the terms “emergency housing” and “emergency services” ever deters someone from seeking assistance when escaping domestic abuse. After all, deciding whether one’s situation is an emergency is a matter of perspective. A person who has experienced abuse throughout life, who watched parents verbally and/or physically assault one another, and who sees friends and relatives in unhealthy relationships may view his or her own circumstances as normal. “I’m not in an emergency situation,” they may think. “I don’t need to call the crisis line. This relationship is just what it is.” It’s a way of thinking that troubles me. You see, someone who becomes accustomed to this negative pattern of behavior may accept it as normal. That makes them difficult for us to reach, even though they’re often the people who need help the most! Abuse escalates over time, so abusive relationships can be both chronic and critical. Our staff members who take help line calls have specialized training. When a victim (or someone who knows a victim) calls, they use standardized assessments to gauge the degree of danger, so they can recommend the best course of action. Some callers need safe housing. Others need referrals, safety planning, and support. No matter what their situation, Sheltering Wings is ready to help anyone who calls our help line, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you or someone you know needs assistance, or just has questions about abuse, please call us. Sheltering Wings Spring...

Upcoming Events

all-day Sheltering Wings 16th Anniversar...
Sheltering Wings 16th Anniversar...
Jan 12 all-day
We want to celebrate the spirit of giving today for our 16th anniversary. As a way of thanking our community for your support, we are encouraging you to “Pay it Forward” by performing random acts of[...]
5:30 pm Annual Premier Event – Live, Lau... @ Top Eliminator Club at Lucas Oil Raceway Park,
Annual Premier Event – Live, Lau... @ Top Eliminator Club at Lucas Oil Raceway Park,
Feb 10 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Annual Premier Event - Live, Laugh, Love @ Top Eliminator Club at Lucas Oil Raceway Park, | Indianapolis | Indiana | United States
Join us for Annual Premier Event – Live, Laugh, Love as we host a night of hilarious fun with Comedian Michael Jr. Interested in being a sponsor for this event? Visit us here for details.
6:30 pm Sheltering Wings Speaker’s Training @ Sheltering Wings Community Room
Sheltering Wings Speaker’s Training @ Sheltering Wings Community Room
Mar 8 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Sheltering Wings Speaker's Training @ Sheltering Wings Community Room | Danville | Indiana | United States
Sheltering Wings is often called upon to go into the community to talk, inform, and educate various groups.  Each group that requests a speaker usually falls into a specific category, i.e. churches, survivors, businesses, teens,[...]