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Intimidation, isolation, economic control, emotional abuse, threats and physical violence are all part of domestic violence.
When a victim is faced with the pain and fear of abuse, whether it is mental, physical or sexual, it is often unclear where to turn for help or if it is safe to do so. of Gateway seeks to provide any service a victim could need ranging from housing at their shelter, counseling, educational programs, down to toiletry items and clothing.
It is estimated that 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year in the United States. Domestic violence is considered an epidemic that affects persons regardless of sex, economic background, race, age, education or religious preference.
“Whatever the living situation is that a victim of domestic violence is leaving, we try to provide a safe place for them to heal and grow,” said Director Kelli Finch. provides are constantly changing.
“Because we are a residential center that can house up to 28 persons, we are always in need of clothing, cleaning supplies and anything that a person may have in their home to operate on a daily basis but multiplied by 28,” said Finch. “We are also a home and try to maintain as normal an atmosphere as possible for the children, so we have tooth fairy visits, birthday parties and good behavior incentives for the kids.”
She said that some people only need off site services.
“If a woman is at the hospital because she has been sexually assaulted she may need new clothes or feminine products and we may never know who she is but the hospitals will contact us and we will take whatever is needed to her,” said Finch. “We are also the after hours facility to get an emergency protective order (EPO) for Rowan and Bath counties and that is a 24 hour, seven days a week service.”
In addition to the crisis intervention and residential services, the organization provides hospital advocacy, court advocacy and housing assistance.
“A woman will leave her abuser 10 to 12 times on average before she stays away from them. For years domestic violence has been kept quiet but we cannot turn a blind eye to it because of how it affects everyone,” said Finch. “We have had every kind of person stay in our shelter and use our services. People need to be aware of the signs and know that there is a safe place for them here with us.”
Some signs of domestic violence are when a person seems afraid or anxious to please their partner, check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing, have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents,” rarely go out in public without their partner, have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car or show signs of personality changes, anxiety or depression.
The non profit organization serves Rowan, Bath, Morgan, Montgomery and Menifee counties and encourages anyone with domestic violence situations to call their crisis hotline, 1 800 221 4361. is one of the recipients of funds from the Arts and Eats Festival being held in downtown Morehead this weekend.
“We get state and federal funding but that is used so quickly with all of the needs and there are constantly new needs and expenses so we feel very fortunate to be a part of the Arts and Eats Festival,” said Finch. “We will be using the funds received for children’s activities. There are many kids that live in the house and purchasing arts and crafts supplies will provide something specifically for them to feel a bit more normal and at home.”
They also hope to purchase some car seats, strollers and high chairs to keep at the home for the children who are affected by domestic violence.
Finch said donations are needed year round. Things needed are feminine products, hygiene products, toiletries, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels, bath towels and wash cloths, diapers, baby wipes, clothing sizes newborn to 4 X and laundry detergent.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to be recipients of funds from Arts and Eats and encourage everyone to come to the event and visit our informational booth to see how our services positively impact families and individuals,” said Finch. “This community cares and it is wonderful to live in a place that gives back.”