SHELBY CO., Ala. (WBRC) – Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
In 2021, Shelby County Safe House served 380 citizens of Shelby County. 106 citizens were housed in their emergency shelter.
In 2022, Safe House of Shelby County surpassed last year’s numbers with 439 Shelby County citizens, including 89 housed in their emergency shelter.
Executive Director Janelle Sierra said Shelby County customers represent 64% of their total customer population and 50% of their 2,000 crisis phone calls per year come from Shelby County.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic and current economic instability only provide additional triggers for families who may already be in this cycle of violence,” Sierra said. “We see a continued increased need with reduced funding.”
The majority of their funding comes from federal and state grants, but this funding is not stable, with significant reductions over the past two years as their clients continue to grow.
“Domestic violence usually encompasses some method of control or manipulation,” Sierra said. “There can be physical abuse, but it often includes sexual abuse that we don’t always talk about or emotional abuse.”
When contacted, people meet with their trauma-informed advocates to assess their needs.
“We have emergency shelters, we have counseling for individuals and groups, we provide educational resources, whether it’s training from one of our advocates or a referral” , Sierra said. “We have parenting classes, case management and provide legal assistance if they need a protective order or a divorce.”
To help continue their work, the safe house is hosting a fundraising event this weekend at Oak Mountain State Park.
More information can be found here.
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