When six-year-old Josh arrived at the YWCA shelter with his mother Darcy, he was scared and confused. His mother had woken him up in the middle of the night and told him that they were leaving, but he didn’t know where. She was crying and told Josh to grab one toy, and hurried him to the car.
The first seven nights at the shelter were tough for Josh and Darcy. They had experienced extreme emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of Josh’s dad. However, with the ongoing support of staff and volunteers, they learned healthy communication skills and began to heal from their trauma. Upon leaving the shelter, Darcy said that picking up the phone to call the YWCA was one of the hardest and best decisions she had ever made.
Domestic violence impacts the lives of countless people across our community and nation, regardless of age, gender, race, income level, religion, and sexual orientation. In fact, one in four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. It continues to be a pervasive problem with far-reaching consequences, yet only half of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police.