What Happens at a Women’s Shelter (and What They Do for Survivors)

You might already know that there is a bigger purpose behind what we do at WodBottom. A portion of every sale goes to Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) in Dane County, Wisconsin. DAIS is an incredible nonprofit that helps domestic abuse survivors leave abusive relationships safely and empowers them to move forward with confidence. We also love DAIS because they have an emergency shelter for women and children fleeing abusive environments.

Too often, victims of abuse become trapped and isolated. Many do not have the resources or connections to leave an abuser. Plus, leaving an abuser can create a dangerous environment for the survivor, sometimes leading to incredibly tragic outcomes.

That’s where women’s shelters come in. These shelters – located in nearly every major city in the country – are a safe space providing shelter, food, and clothing. All the while, women’s shelters connect survivors with valuable resources to help them rebuild their lives.

Of course, all people fall victim to domestic abuse, not just women. But today, we’re highlight women’s shelters specifically. You’ll get a sneak peak into how organizations like DAIS are serving these incredible women and their families.

Why Women Seek Out Women’s Shelters

Domestic abuse is often a complex issue. Not all abuse is physical, and often, it can take years for women to recognize the abuse and decide to leave. But leaving isn’t as easy as simply walking out the door. In many instances, survivors of domestic abuse do not have the financial or emotional resources necessary to thrive on their own. Add to that the very real danger associated with leaving an abusive relationship, and the entire situation becomes overwhelming.

Women’s shelters exist to lessen the burden and give abuse survivors a safe place to go once they decide to leave. These shelters provide a safe haven to women and (often) their children, providing a place to sleep, food to eat, clothing, and other necessities. Far beyond a bed and a hot meal, though, women’s shelters exist to help survivors get back on their feet and create a healthy, thriving life.

What Happens at a Women’s Shelter

A women’s shelter is a place of safety, hope, and healing. While each location differs, many use similar approaches to help survivors overcome their trauma and build a new life. On day one, the shelter’s primary concern is the client’s safety. Then, once her basic needs are met, social workers, counselors, case managers, and volunteers step in.

Survivors might attend group or individual counseling sessions (often, children participate in age-appropriate counseling, too). Women might be offered job training, education assistance, housing assistance, or other services to help her provide for herself and her family.

Shelters also help women access legal counsel, allowing them to file restraining orders or file charges against the abuser. Women might also discuss custody options to keep children safe.

How You Can Help

Many women’s shelters rely heavily on donations from the general public and generous volunteers. As a result, many shelters often need supplies like toiletries, sanitary items, clothing, and food. You can contact your local shelter to learn more about their specific requests.

If you’d like to help our partner, DAIS, you can find a list of their needs here. And remember, every time you purchase an item from our store, you’re helping DAIS support survivors of domestic abuse!

As always, if you or someone you love is experiencing domestic abuse, please get help. You can reach out to DAIS here or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline here.


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