Becoming a Survivor

Becoming a Survivor

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. – 2 CORINTHIANS 9:11 If you ask most people about Sheltering Wings, they’ll tell you that we are a safe haven for women who are being abused. Providing emergency shelter and crisis interventions is an important part of our mission, but it’s not all we do. The other key elements of our mission are helping domestic violence survivors build stable, independent lives—and offering all of our services in a Christcentered environment. After all, providing shelter for families is a temporary solution. To achieve meaningful change, we have to work with each family to break the cycle of violence. We do that through our Life Skills program, a variety of services that focus on helping women and their children attain independence and stability. How important is that component of our mission? We know that the average domestic violence victim returns to her abuser seven times before leaving for good. Yes, it’s heartbreaking, but each woman who gains that sense of self-sufficiency is a woman who won’t give in to the empty promises of an abuser or the false hope that he’ll change. We want everyone who calls our crisis line or enters our doors to transition from being a victim to becoming a survivor. And, at Sheltering Wings, a critical part of that is introducing the women and children we serve to the ultimate source of hope and joy: God’s love and the future He has created for them. As a supporter of our work, you make it possible for us to share that hope and joy every day, and you help us give strength to those who need it most....
Don’t Let the Cycle Continue

Don’t Let the Cycle Continue

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” — ROMANS 7:15, 25 Few things feel as frustrating and disheartening as the sense that we’re caught in a vicious cycle. We hope for progress, and then discover we’ve ended up right where we started. Victims of domestic abuse are typically caught in a cycle that is truly vicious—and deadly. It starts in a “tension-building” phase where something doesn’t seem right and they’re tiptoeing on eggshells to avoid arguments. Next comes the “explosion” phase, where their abuser threatens and attacks. It’s inevitably followed by a “honeymoon” phase of apologies and promises that the bad things will never happen again, but after a short time, the tension is back. We hear of this cycle again and again at Sheltering Wings. The type of abuse may differ, from verbal, to physical, to sexual or other types, but the cycle is sadly predictable. The women want it to end, but lack the resources to escape. Some erroneously convince themselves that it’s really their fault, or that he’ll change. The reasons often vary, but the cycle rarely does. So we help the victims find their voices. We help them develop the skills and resources they need to build stable and independent lives. We let them know they don’t deserve to be abused, and show them that there is a way out. And we educate the community so people like you know what to do when a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker is trapped in the cycle. We created this special edition of our newsletter as a resource we hope you’ll keep. Perhaps you know someone who needs...
Knowing that someone cares is the greatest gift of all.

Knowing that someone cares is the greatest gift of all.

A man has one hundred sheep and one of them is lost. Will he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to look for that one lost sheep? If he finds it, for sure, I tell you, he will have more joy over that one, than over the ninety-nine that were not lost. I tell you, My Father in heaven does not want one of these little children to be lost. MATTHEW 18:12-14 My family has a strange tradition that we enjoy when we get together for Christmas. We break out kazoos and play our favorite Christmas carols (think Name That Tune meets the Gong Show) until we run out of air from laughing and playing. It’s one of my most cherished family memories, and I’m sure your family has its own unique celebrations. How many of your childhood memories center upon the holiday season? I’d like you to take a moment to think about the families who will spend the holidays at Sheltering Wings this year, without their relative or those traditions that mean so much. Domestic violence affects women and children in so many different ways, and one of the most tragic is disjointed families. Those emotions are most pronounced this time of year. We do our best to make the holidays warm and festive for our women and children, and I’m especially grateful for the community’s generosity during the holiday season. Thanks to you and many others, every woman and child has the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving feast and something to open on Christmas morning. We decorate cookies together and watch the children gaze in wonder when Santa comes to visit. Our volunteers take time from their own family celebrations to make the holidays brighter...
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”

There is so much wisdom in Helen Keller’s words, and those two simple sentences underscore a large part of what allows us to help so many women and children. Here in this amazing place called Sheltering Wings, the community joins together to support women and children in crisis. I’m constantly amazed at the scope of support we receive. Individuals who live very different lives come together for a common purpose. Businesses that normally compete share common ground. Organizations with vastly different interests and members each lend their support in unique ways. Churches of varying sizes join hands willingly and gladly to proclaim and deliver Christ’s love. We could not accomplish even a small portion of what we do without so much broad-based support from the community, and we make the most of every dollar shared with us. In return, we reach out to the community to share both our successes and our needs. We work especially hard to educate everyone about the realities of domestic violence. That way, managers will know what to do if they suspect an employee is being abused. A teenage girl will understand that her boyfriend’s behavior isn’t acceptable. And a woman in fear will know there is hope. Domestic violence is an immense problem that may seem unsolvable to individuals. But as Miss Keller said, together we can do so much. Download the 2014 Summer...
Watch! I’m about to carry out something new!

Watch! I’m about to carry out something new!

I’ve been at Sheltering Wings for only a few months, and I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve introduced myself at meetings, events, or just while walking through our shelter. I’ll start to feel as though I’ve settled in and then another introduction makes me remember that I’m beginning a new chapter in my life. Beginnings are a wonderful thing and when you think about it, they are what Sheltering Wings is all about. Yes, we provide safety to women and children in dangerous situations, but what’s more important are the many beginnings associated with their stays. For the first time, they begin to feel safe. They begin to feel confident. They begin to feel that there is a purpose for their lives. And many of them begin to experience God’s love in new ways. Before coming to Sheltering Wings, I devoted more than a decade to helping Riley Children’s Foundation grow so it could support the important and amazing work that has given Riley Hospital for Children its international reputation. I’ve also been a volunteer with the Hendricks County Community Foundation, helping that organization connect generous people with organizations that are doing great things for our community. With so many people like you supporting the work of Sheltering Wings, I’m sure there are many more introductions ahead for me. I really don’t mind, because each one reminds me of our  ultimate goal for the women, the children, and the communities we serve. Together, we’ll celebrate many joyful beginnings. Download the Spring 2014...
Children are a blessing

Children are a blessing

The people who started Sheltering Wings wanted to help women who were victims of domestic abuse, but it didn’t take long for them to realize that there was another group of victims who also needed help. We call them the silent victims of abuse, because they can’t speak for themselves. They are the children of mothers who are being abused. Think about your own childhood. Think about living in a home filled with love, where Christmas was a time to be treasured, where days were spent in carefree play, where fear was a foreign concept. Now imagine yourself as a child hiding under the covers in a desperate attempt to block out your mother’s screams and cries. Imagine your family life involving a steady diet of anger and violence. It’s no surprise that you would expect more of the same when you became an adult. As I write these words, 22 women are safe in our shelter, along with 45 children. In fact, on most days, we serve more children than we had total beds just two years ago. Many of them feel safe for the first time in their young lives. Beyond that security, we do our best to break the cycle by helping them understand that anger and violence are neither inevitable nor acceptable. Our goal is to help these silent victims grow into self-sufficient adults capable of entering and sustaining healthy relationships. This Christmas, as you celebrate your family and your many blessings, please remember our children and help us give them hope and joy. Download the Fall 2013...