Breaking the chain of domestic violence
“It takes more than leaving [an abusive home] to radically change one’s life,” says Mary Fran Wilcoxson, Executive Director at Daystar, Inc., a long-term transitional home for homeless victims of domestic violence. “There’s a whole set of mindsets to change…it takes a lot to build a life where one is financially independent, as well as having an attitude that ‘I am lovable as I am.'”
Daystar, Inc. is unique in that it is one of the city’s only long-term shelters for female victims without dependents, allowing women to stay for up to two years. Assistant Director Janet Robinson says that Daystar can house up to ten women at a time, and offers weekly support groups and counseling, aimed at helping women to identify certain behaviors and red flags so that they will avoid abusive relationships in the future.
Daystar is more than just a place to stay; in addition to counseling, the shelter and staff help facilitate a host of vital services — like securing employment, legal aid, education and finding safe, affordable housing. The aim is to take victims and help them transform into empowered survivors.
“It’s really and truly about getting to know who you are,” says Robinson, ” and becoming more independent before you decide to allow any other individuals into your life.”
Today, I’ll speak with Janet and Mary Fran about Daystar’s mission to offer respite to victims and also give them the tools they need to regain their confidence and start new, healthy lives.
(Windows Media Player)
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Daystar, Inc., click here or call 414-385-0334.
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