An average of 20 people experience some sort of domestic abuse every minute in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This means there are more than 10 million victims each year.
Family Crisis Support Network creates a safe space for those fleeing from abusive relationships in Cass County. It has been in business for 29 years and opened its doors because the nearest safe place for victims to go was an hour away.
“We assist with securing resources for those individuals that are fleeing an abusive relationship,” said Wendy Richter. “We have assisted with rent payments, utility deposits, college tuition, child care, gas and food.”
The point is to break the cycle of domestic abuse and gets victims back on their feet. The Network used to have a shelter, but because of a lack of government funding they can only provide emergency housing.
“If we have a victim in Atlantic who needs to stay in Cass County, we have helped find emergency housing until they get back on their feet,” Richter said. “Otherwise, the nearest shelter they can go to is in Council Bluffs and that doesn’t make sense if they live and work here.”
Family Crisis Support Network runs solely on donations- most of which come from Cass County. Because of this, they have a lot more freedom to pick where their money can be put to help victims.
“Government grants wouldn’t let us assist in child care, but donations let us provide those services,” Richter said. “The importance is getting those individuals that need safety out of the situation that they’re in-even if it’s temporary.”