Domestic violence victims shared their stories and learned more about the term at Refuge House’s awareness event.
Wandalyn Pittman is a third semester social work student at Tallahassee Community College. She received her G.E.D Sept. 21 of this year after she graduated in June.Pittman is also a former victim of domestic violence. She has encountered physical abuse from her spouse and other things that were hard for her to speak of.
“In the past 20 years I have been in three abusive relationships, each one worse than the first,” said Pittman.
Pittman is not alone. Refuge House is an agency that advocates for victims of violence and it hosts a domestic violence awareness event every October. This year’s event gave the opportunity for Pittman and other survivors to share their story.
“Our hotline alone had about 3,000 calls a year,” said Ghia Kelly, the community education director for Refuge House. According to Kelly, domestic violence kills more African-American women than breast cancer.
According to the Refuge House’s website, refugehouse.com, four women are murdered by their partners each day in the United States.
Shane Pompey is the director of emergency services and the children’s program. She explains that the biggest help to the victims is the residential program, which provides housing for those who are victims of acts that fall under the legal definition of domestic violence.
“The legal definition is very broad and that’s what it needs to be,” Pompey said. As director of the children’s program, Pompey advocates for children as well. She explains that just because children cannot always express themselves like adults can, they are not any less affected by witnessing domestic violence.
No matter what a person’s age or gender, Refuge House can help in a domestic violence situation. In Pittman’s case, they provide something that she feels is important to share with victims, which is support.
To see domestic violence warning signs