Says Lisa Higginbotham, director of social work for the YWCA Knoxville: “Women have the hope of a relationship, a dream of how they think it should be. They tolerate more so they don’t have to give up that dream.”
YWCA transitional housing program director Annette Beebe: “I believe in every single one of these women. They are my heroes.”
YWCA business manager Danielle Benson, above, is planning another focus for the non-profit: teenage dating violence education. “Social networking and the Internet play a huge role,” she says.
Elizabeth Bonilla, one of the YWCA Victim Advocacy program’s two bilingual advocates.
Jayne McGowan escaped an abusive relationship and found help and shelter through the Family Justice Center and the YWCA Transitional Housing Program.
Says victim advocate Elizabeth Bonilla: “An abuser is only abusive towards the victim, he doesn’t go throughout the day beating up his coworkers, or his friends or boss. That show’s there’s a choice. He’s choosing a behavior.”
The YWCA of Knoxville’s Victim Advocacy Program offers support groups for victims of domestic violence, individual advocacy, and safety planning. Its 24-hour local crisis line is 865-521-6336
YWCA of Knoxville downtown.