Domestic Violence is the single largest cause of women and children living in homeless situations. The families that come to Family Abuse Center come because they can no longer stay where they are living. They are “refugees” from their own home, forced away by the abuser. Most of them have already tried to leave, fleeing to a relatives homes. Or perhaps they tried to stay with a best friend, or neighbor. Perhaps community members or friends from church have offered housing, but none of these would provide the kind of safety that a victim might need. In Waco, when a victim discovers that there are no other options, they generally call Family Abuse Center. All other alternatives have failed and the victim needs a safe place to stay until decisions can be made and more permanent solutions found.
Family Abuse Center takes safety very seriously. We assess a potential victims risks from the beginning and start safety planning as quickly as possible. While we can never promise anyone complete safety, we do our best to provide an environment where victims can be assured that they will not be attacked. Family Abuse Center is a confidential and private location where access to the shelter is controlled. Our best friends, the Waco Police Department, are on speed dial for emergencies and patrol daily cruise past our facility just to make sure things are safe. We do our best to keep confidentiality about who lives with us.
But we can’t always keep someone safe in Waco. Often it is advantageous for the victim to leave a our community. The network of domestic violence shelters in Texas work together to help provide a safe place for those who need to flee their homes farther than just their local community. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides much need information 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential and anonymous. They can assist a victim to get direct help in their own community or in a community at a distance that might provide the safety needed.
When a victim at Family Abuse Center believes that they are safe to reenter the community, our housing programs are an avenue to live independently. While some clients have everything they need, many have needs that take more time. Some of our housing programs provide social services for more than a year in addition to financial help. Some of our housing programs give a family a extra boost as they move out on their own. We want our clients to find safe housing on their own in an violence free home and each family is different and needs different things. Therefore, a community needs to have many options for these families. Our wish is that every family could live in a safe, violence free home.