Many victims of domestic violence feel trapped in their relationships. Often there is abuse, but even when abuse isn’t physical or visible, relationships can be so controlling -- emotionally, socially and financially -- that it feels impossible to leave and unhealthy and unfulfilling to continue.
It’s not easy making the decision to leave, especially if there’s fear of retribution. What can you take or will you leave with only what you can carry? If there is a history of violence, what will happen to the family pet? Will you ever feel safe?
Individual women, moms with children, and some men agonize over these questions, but there is a way forward and Turning Points Network (TPN) can help.
TPN’s 24-hour crisis and support line is available night and day. For battered partners and sexual abuse survivors and their children, we operate a 16-bed, secure emergency shelter in Sullivan County as well as access to additional shelters when ours is full or survivors need to be located further away. We will help make arrangements for the family pet to also be safe. We offer court assistance and accompaniment. Peer counseling and support groups are nonjudgmental and healing. Guidance and support for job interviews and returning to school are available. Most importantly, we listen and we help find the path to safety and independence that works for each individual.
Turning Points Network also offers classes in financial empowerment where participants learn how to establish credit, apply for a car loan, open a checking account and develop a budget, all part of our Economic Independence Program. Since we began this program, 80% of the women in our shelter who complete it are able to remain independent of their abusers. Before we offered the class, 70% ultimately returned to abusive situations.
You are not alone. You can call for a friend. The door is always open. And all of our services are free. For more information call 1-800-639-3130 anytime, 24/7, go to www.turningpointsnetwork.org or visit our offices at 11 School Street in Claremont and 167 Summer St. in Newport during working hours.
OUR TURN is a public service series made available by Turning Points Network in celebration of its 40th anniversary of providing violence-prevention education programs in our schools, services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and helping people move from the darkness of abuse toward the light of respect, healing and hope.