Shannon tiredly hangs her head in defeat and wonders how her marriage got to this place. She ignored too many warning signs and now her life is in shambles. One week ago, her husband hit her, causing a brain injury and loss of vision in her left eye. She had to leave.
Her mind won’t stop racing with all the pressing needs to be figured out. Recovering from the abuse will be a long road. Not just for her, but for her 3-year-old Emma too.
Shannon lies down on the shelter’s thin mattress and cries. She is desperate for answers and feels so alone. Friends and family don’t know the extent of the abuse. She is ashamed it went on for so long. This burden is too much to carry by herself. Today the shelter’s social worker will meet with her. Shannon prays she can help.
Her social worker tells her about The Gatehouse, a beautiful community living center designed specifically for women and children in crisis. The social worker says they can stay for up to 2.5 years as they begin their recovery process. A glimmer of hope sparks inside Shannon. For the first time in a long time, she thinks they are going to make it.
Shannon and Emma’s story is not an unfamiliar one. Over 1 in 3 Texans will experience domestic violence in some way during their lifetime (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Texas Council on Family Violence). Non-profits like The Gatehouse are leading the way with wrap-a-round treatment plans designated to provide permanent, positive change.
The Gatehouse relies on year-round volunteers to keep their programs running smoothly. Whatever your expertise, they need your help! Bless a family with baked goods, set up an apartment, provide transportation, teach a skills class, and much more. These women and children can’t do this alone. Will you lock arms with them in support?