Before being homeless, a usual day for many of the women at Star of Hope started normally. As the sun crept through the window curtains, they would rollover stretch, wash their face to help fight the sleepiness,make breakfast and send their kids to school with the best foot forward, rush to take off the mommy clothes and put on something professional, head to work 5 minutes late, work hard, but happily go home and greet the kids with a big hug from school. Together they would make dinner and wait for daddy to get home. When he did their would be a chill in the air and his wife would try her best to lovingly greet him with a kiss. As she walked away she would breath a small sigh of relief because this time he didn't hit her.
Many of the battered women who are fleeing for their lives have the most admirable qualities. They are hardworking, loving, faithful, great listeners, and loyal. They are just married to someone who reciprocates all of those amazing qualities with physical abuse. Honestly, they might think this is normal. It could have been the "father and mother" relationship their families have witnessed for generations.
Thank God, one day they realize there is something better, they load the kids on the midnight bus, head states away to a shelter they have only seen on the internet, and pray their husband never finds them. Once they get to Star of Hope they are greeted lovingly and begin making a new life free of abusive relationships, breaking the generational bondage, all through much counseling and personal development programs.
The fleeing parent isn't the only one who gets emotional counseling and life advice at Star of Hope. The children do as well. Showing and telling kids what is acceptable in relationship starts at a young age. After all, one in three women in this country are abused and it isn't a matter to take lightly or keep hidden from kids.
In closing, I do know that ending violence against women has much support in the Houston community, as well as in the nation. The 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters this past week had several big names such as, Reese Witherspoon, speaking on the urgency of ending violence against women. As well as, educating children on what constitutes as harassment not only in person, but on social media and different internet forums.
I thank those who are willing to speak on the issue, as well as, praise the ladies who have gotten out of those relationships. In adding, to their admirable qualities they have courage the size of a tree.
Star of Hope serves as a shelter for battered women. Interested in volunteering?