January 9, 2011 changed our lives. We were well aware that our son’s home life was becoming more and more dangerous. He was desperately seeking an answer that would allow him to safely remove the children, and himself, from the situation. On January 9th, after several visits from the police, his wife was arrested for Domestic Violence.
She was found not guilty of these charges; not because of the police testimony or the pictures of the scratches and bruises. There is a stigma that goes with these cases. Those on the outside can’t figure out how this happens; why don’t the men fight back? Why? Because the wise ones know – they risk being arrested.
There is another consequence caused by this stigma; there are very few services to assist men in this situation. The only option for our son was to head to the men’s homeless shelter, which doesn’t allow children. I’ve seen the struggle that it takes for a man to balance creating a new and safe place for his kids while trying to shuffle through the rubble left from a destructive relationship.
A small circle of friends have been talking about doing our part to change this stigma. We have the desire to start a non-profit to assist such men and their kids. Working closely with the police, social services and victim assistance, we would focus on the financial needs of those first 100 days. What does that look like?
- Covering the hotel bill for a week so dad can get his kids out.
- Wal-Mart gift cards to buy formula, diapers, clothes and food.
- Covering babysitter costs so dad can begin counseling.
- Local restaurant gift cards to help provide meals.
- It may even be a security deposit and first month’s rent for a new apartment.
Starting a non-profit is easy, maintaining it is difficult. BUT if it’s right, it’s right. If it’s right, it’s worth struggling to make it happen.
- If this strikes a chord with you, we’re open for donations to move us forward.
- If you’re a dad in this situation, seek outside help and begin the process of getting your kids free.
- If you’re watching a similar situation from the outside, start making some calls…if it’s right, it’s right!
We know what it will take – we’ve done our homework. In July, we’ll be making our decision whether we feel this is the right time and if we are able to take on the additional responsibility. If it’s right, it will start with a handful of people desiring to build an army; an army of people changing children’s lives, one family at a time.