Oconee Co. Gets Much Needed Domestic Violence Shelter - WSPA.com

Oconee Co. Gets Much Needed Domestic Violence Shelter

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Ashley Davis doesn't live in a shelter, but she's stocking the shelves at one so other families feel at home here. Safe Harbor opened the new 24-hour emergency shelter for domestic violence victims for the first time Thursday in Oconee County.

"Their journey is gonna be completely different from mine," said Ashley. "But if I can share anything about my experience that can be helpful than I want to be able to do that."

Her experience included 9 years of verbal and physical abuse with her two young boys there to witness. Ashley says her first step to freedom was at a shelter.

Safe Harbor Assistant Executive Director Greta Young says women who have a safe place to go in their own town are more likely to seek help.

"We had victims that were having to travel to Anderson and to Greenville and they were in this area," said Young. "We felt they need to have somewhere in their own area to go to, not to leave their hometown. Their kids wouldn't have to leave their school and the mothers could stay at their jobs."

Safe Harbor began its quest to open the Oconee County shelter in March 2013.

It needed nearly $1 million to do it. And the community responded, with the total raised reaching $1.2 million.

That allowed Safe Harbor to renovate and fill the home-turned-shelter with familiar comforts, all in a little more than a year.

"I knew we needed it. I knew the community knew we needed it, so I knew it would come. But that quick, no," said Young.

And what better person to manage the home than a survivor, Ashley.

"I am now the house manager of the shelter so to think of that girl I was four years ago, I'm not that girl anymore," said Ashley. "It's just, I'm really proud of myself."

Safe Harbor also has shelters in Anderson and Greenville Counties. All locations are kept confidential and secure.

If you're a victim of domestic violence needing help, you can call Safe Harbor's 24/7 crisis line at 1-800-291-2139.

For more information, click here.

 

Tracey Early
Tracey co-anchors the 5:30 and 7 p.m. newscasts and is a general assignment reporter.
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