Hope in times of despair

Published 8:00 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

“I’ll take care of you, mommy.”

A little girl, not much older than 4, said these words as she washed her mother’s forehead with a cool cloth. 

Her mother lay on the couch in excruciating pain. Bones in her lower back had been broken by kicks from a steel toed boot worn by her husband, after he had finished assaulting her on their living room floor in front of their young daughter.

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Was this the first time he had abused her?  Probably not.

Threats of physical violence, emotional degradation and shame sadly prevent many from escaping. Tragically, they stay and endure a prison of torture. 

Maybe the abuser has threatened violence to the family pet, or that she will never see the children again. There are many forms of control that an abuser uses. They are good at it. 

Maybe they learned it by watching their parents. Often time, domestic violence is a culture of behavior that is passed from generation to generation.

But there is hope. 

Steps to HOPE is a domestic abuse/sexual assault safe house where victims can seek refuge.  Founded by Rachel Ramsey and the Polk County Business Women’s Association over 32 years ago, Steps to HOPE has helped thousands of victims flee their abuser and begin a new chapter in their lives. 

“Victims can come here with their children and pets and know they are safe,” said Lee Lindsay, executive director of Steps to HOPE.  “We are located in Polk County, but we serve the western state area, including Polk and Rutherford counties, and the upstate of South Carolina.”

Professionals at Steps to HOPE assist clients to obtain legal, emotional and health care assistance from area providers. The mission is to help clients escape their abuser and become empowered to begin a new chapter in their lives.

Steps to HOPE is able to accomplish this mission only through the support of local businesses and individual donations of time and money. Steps to HOPE Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. 

In addition to financial support from the community, the remainder of the agency’s funding is provided by the Steps to HOPE Thrift Store located in Columbus, and from state and federal grants for domestic violence/sexual assault programs.

If you or someone you know is suffering domestic abuse or sexual violence, please know you are not alone. Steps to HOPE is here to help you achieve a better life.

Call Steps to HOPE Crisis Line at 828-894-2340.