Shelter provides safe haven to those battling domestic violence, more

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, asking for help is often the most difficult and scary decision they will every make. One way the Family Sunshine Center is assisting those fleeing family violence is by offering them a safe haven in crisis through the emergency shelter.

Choosing to leave is a huge step for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, however it's not easy.

"A lot of time the perpetrator has full access to the financial documents. Sometimes it is hard leave when you are facing homelessness and you don't know what resources are out there," said Family Sunshine Center case manager Brittney Smith.

If you do not know where to go, the Family Sunshine Center can help. Through the emergency shelter they provide a safe, secure, and undisclosed location for victims and their children.

"Sometime ago we had a victim and her children enter the shelter in the middle of the night. She was in imminent danger so severe that she had to flee without her purse, ID, and children's medical cards," said Smith.

With only the clothes they were wearing FSC was able to provide the family with all their basic needs.

"We provided meals, clothing, hygiene products. We were able to provide the children with strollers, diapers, car seat transportation. We tried to do everything we could to make them family comfortable," said Smith.

They also helped this victim apply for state assistance, put her on the path to become a certified nursing aid, and helped her secure an apartment.

"She is a functioning member of society. She is empowered and self-sufficient," said Smith. "We are so happy she sought help. Without the assistance of the Family Sunshine Center I am not sure how that situation would have ended up."

Last year 213 women and children entered shelter.

The Family Sunshine Center offers a variety of resources in addition to the emergency shelter. They also offer the C.A.R.E.S program for children.

Being in an abusive relationship can feel like there's no way out, but there is help. The Family Sunshine Center operates a 24 hour crisis line. The numbers are 1-800-650-6522 or you can call 334-263-0218.

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