SAN ANGELO, TX – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Forms of domestic abuse can range from verbal to mental and emotional, and physical.
In San Angelo, there are a number of resources available to abuse survivors, namely The Family Shelter. The San Angelo shelter is unique compared to shelters in other cities because of their long term stay options.
“We have what we call an extended stay program,” explains shelter director Jeri Slone. “[It is] for victims who have gone through our program on the emergency shelter side and have stabilized, have a job, are working transportation or have transportation.”
The cycle of abuse is an idea that is still slowly coming into acceptance for most people. “Typically about 75% of individuals who grow up with some form of domestic violence in their life will will either become an abuser or will marry an abuser,” explains Slone. “It’s part of their lifestyle, and that’s not by their choice, that’s what they know and that’s what they’ve seen their whole life.”
Shelter staff say the most important thing someone outside of a domestic abuse situation can offer is support. “Support is the biggest thing you can give them,” said Slone. “Condemnation does nothing, condemning them does no good. They’re [already] being beat down by the people that they love, their family members.”
For those actively in an abusive situation, planning is crucial when preparing to leave. Whether that is important personal documents, or clothes and belongings. The majority of major or fatal assaults in abusive relationships occur when the party leaving the situation returns for something they need.
Additionally, residence in the shelter is not required to use their services, which are free. For more information, click here.