Friday, May 31, 2013

Being the daughter of a clergyman in the local church, we lived a very simple life I suppose... I never went to the dentist. Only went to the doctor's twice as long as I lived in Kentucky. I never even got my hair cut, only trims in the kitchen from my mother. I remember once, when I was 5 I thought it was a great idea to cut it myself to rebel... BIG TROUBLE.

We were placed into a safehouse in a big city, which was a BIG change from such a small town where everyone knows everyone AND their business.When everyone in your town is related to you or one of your siblings it's TOO MUCH!

The safehouse was an odd place. It had four floors. There was the basement which served as a play area for children. The main floor which served as the office and counseling areas. They brought women in to counsel and do all of the mandatory paperwork. The women would register children in school, do shopping trips for groceries, school supplies and any other things that we would need. They also did legal paperwork such as affidavits , protective orders, custody paperwork, etc. The 2nd floor was used as kitchen, storage and living area while the final floor was used for bedrooms. These houses operate on the chore system, adults and children alike would be assigned chores depending on age and

The house altogether was a fairly large house, but when it came to bedrooms it seemed like there weren't very many for the amount of women and children who desperately need this service. In fact, looking back on  it; had the counselor, hired for my parent's marriage counseling, not thought my life in danger, My mother and I would have likely been turned away. We were probably only accepted because we were submitted by the state.

There aren't that many safehouses in general, there aren't many charities that donate to them and there aren't many rooms in them either. There were 4 to 5 bedrooms each with 1 nightstand, 1 dresser, a small closet and two sets of bunk beds. There were no colors on the wall, there were no decorations, no alarm clocks.

This may sound to the average reader as something that is A LOT of space for families needing help. I urge you to think again. Chew on this bit of information for a minute, Families placed in safehouses generally stay there for 6 months or longer. They are relocated, whether its across the state... or the country; Away from their families to start a new life. These women do not have their own vehicles when they move into these safehouses, they are not that fortunate. They need to get a new job, new place to live, they often have to file paperwork with the courts for custody all while maintaining their secured location. This process takes a long time. Just because you managed to get placed in a location does not mean that it will be your new home. This  process is often repeated, moving families at the drop of a hat whenever there is the slightest threat to someone learning their location.

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