From the Director

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

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... read more
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... 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

6:30 pm Shine the Light-Sheltering Wings... @ Sheltering Wings Courtyard
Shine the Light-Sheltering Wings... @ Sheltering Wings Courtyard
Oct 2 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Shine the Light-Sheltering Wings Annual Vigil @ Sheltering Wings Courtyard | Danville | Indiana | United States
Join us for our Annual Vigil “Shine the Light” Celebrate Lives Saved and Remember Lives Lost to Domestic Violence
8:00 am Men IN Action: Men’s Breakfast @ Washington Township Park Pavilion
Men IN Action: Men’s Breakfast @ Washington Township Park Pavilion
Oct 5 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Men IN Action You’re invited to join us for breakfast with men who want to model integrity and build healthy relationships for our youth and community. October 5th, 8:00-9:30 am @ Washington Township Park Pavilion[...]
6:30 pm Embracing Empowerment @ Sheltering Wings Community Room
Embracing Empowerment @ Sheltering Wings Community Room
Oct 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Embracing Empowerment @ Sheltering Wings Community Room | Danville | Indiana | United States
Embracing Empowerment meets every Thursday, 6:30-8:00pm, October 5, 12, 19, 26. Embracing Empowerment is a support group which is open to residents and community members.  This support group will help victims and survivors gain knowledge[...]