WOMEN'S Q & A


The Women's Center is a safe refuge for women and their children. Last year we provided shelter to 107 women and 90 children who were fleeing from domestic violence. We also provided assistance to 625 battered women and 176 children who did not stay in the shelter.

Are you or someone you know experiencing domestic violence? We've compiled a list of questions we are commonly asked about battering and how to get help. In the answers, you will learn where to go in times of crisis, how to find support, and discover options you may never have dreamed of. Best of all, you'll realize you're not alone. We're here to assist you in any way we can.
Do women have to pay to stay at the shelter?
No. We never charge women for any of our services.

Can I bring my children?
Yes, of course. We have a playroom for younger children and Foster Grandmothers to give them special attention. Older children attend school.

Do you provide transportation? Will you pick me up at my house?
We do not go to women's homes. Women come to the shelter by taxi or Dial-A-Ride (city bus) or are brought by friends, other agencies, pastors, Sheriff/Police Department, etc. If you can't figure out how to get to the shelter, call us, and we'll help you to arrange transportation.

Who does the cooking/cleaning/child care?
The women staying here sign up for daily chores such as cooking and cleaning. Our Foster Grandmas can provide some childcare, but women also often babysit for each other.

Has anyone ever tried to break in?
There has never been a successful break-in. Batterers do, occasionally, come to the shelter. Advocates warn the abusers that they are trespassing; if they don't leave, staff will call the police department.
What kind of security measures does the shelter have?
We have a high tech security system with an alarm and double door entry system. And we have a good working relationship with our local police department, whose officers respond within minutes to our calls for assistance

What is the average length of stay?
The average length of stay is about 2 weeks. This takes into consideration women who stay overnight and those who stay for a month or more.

Do you only take women from Crow Wing County?
No. Although we are located in Crow Wing County, we do not have residency requirements. So we will serve women from anywhere who are fleeing violence.
I think I know someone who is being abused. How can I help?
  • Listen to what she tells you.
  • Believe her.
  • Help her to see and build on her strengths.
  • Validate her feelings.
  • Avoid victim-blaming.
  • Take her fears seriously.
  • Offer help, but don't promise what you can't give.
  • Be an active, creative partner in a woman's safety planning effort.
  • Support her decisions.
  • Suggest she call a battered women's shelter or program for additional information and support.
  • Tell her that she deserves a life free from violence.
What can I do if I'm experiencing domestic violence?
  • Prepare what to say if a partner becomes violent.
  • Choose a safe place to go if an argument occurs. Avoid rooms with no exits or rooms with weapons.
  • Prepare and memorize a list of safe phone numbers. Have a code word so family and friends know when assistance is needed.
How do I know for sure if I'm a victim of domestic violence? Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are you embarrassed or ridiculed by your partner in public?
  • Does your partner use intimidation or threats to get you to go along with something?
  • Is your partner physical with you, pushing, shoving or hitting?
  • Does your partner attempt to control or restrict your activities?
  • Does your partner blame you for the way he/she feels or acts?

    If you've answered yes to two or more of these questions, chances are you are a battered woman. This is particularly true if your partner behaves in these ways on an ongoing basis.
I want my children to see their father, but he's abusive. Where can I find a place for my kids to see their father where all of us will be safe?

The Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center
 is designed for children and their separated or divorced parents who have been involved in an abusive relationship and/or conflict over visitation. Parents who are allowed contact with their children in foster care can arrange to visit them at the Center, too. The Center provides a positive and nurturing place where children and their parents can be assured of a safe visit.  Parents do not have to have contact with each other at the Safety Center.
IMPORTANT STATISTICS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
  • The crime of battering occurs every 15 second.
  • More than one in three Americans have witnessed an incident of domestic violence.
  • Over 50% of all women will experience violence at least once in an intimate relationship; half of those will experience ongoing violence.
  • Up to 50% of all homeless women and children in the United States are fleeing domestic violence.
Does your partner . . .
  • Embarrass you with bad names and put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing or talking to friends or family?
  • Take your money or Social Security, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all the decisions?
  • Tell you you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
  • Shove you, slap you or hit you?
  • Force you to drop charges?
  • Threaten to commit suicide?
  • Threaten to kill you?
If you checked even one, you may be in an abusive relationship.
 

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