Lake Life


Battered women ask ‘where can I go?’
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–When trying to figure out what to do and how to help someone who is being abused, the questions are many and not easily answered.
The first and biggest question is where can those in need find help?
Those seeking help can either contact the following organizations directly or call their local police department, which has the names and phone numbers of area help centers.
The East Texas Crisis Center had small beginnings as an all-volunteer agency.
It was incorporated in 1978 as the Smith County Citizens against Rape.
The Center has grown into a place where thousands of victims of family violence, sexual assault and violent crimes have found support and care as they attempted to create a new life for themselves, their information flyer states.
Support for the center comes from various places, with 46 percent from the community, 4 percent from United Way and the rest, 50 percent, from grants
For help, or to make a donation, contact the Athens office by calling (903) 675-2137 or the toll-free hot line at 1-800-333-0358.
Another newer facility is the Family Peace Project located in the Athens area.
Its logo declares “World Peace Begins at Home.”
For help or information about Family Peace Project call (903) 677-9177.
Alan Austin is the administrator for the Genesis Center, another local and successful shelter.
“We’re the only women’s shelter in the Tri-County area,” he said.
The Center provides a haven for women and children who are homeless for any reason.
“Whether it’s drug and alcohol abuse, just getting out of prison or family violence, the Genesis Center is there,” he said.
They have facilities to care for 35 women and their small children, Austin explained.
However, if the woman has a teenager, the Center does not take in boys 13 or older, Austin said.
While the Genesis Center is grateful for donations, Austin said without their huge and successful thrift store, they would not be able to provide the help they do.
The thrift store is located on State Highway 34 north of downtown Kaufman.
It carries everything from dishes and kitchen utensils to clothing and furniture, all at reasonable and affordable prices.
The mailing address is: The Genesis Center, P.O. Box 1065, Mabank, TX 75147.
To reach the Center, call (962) 932-4351.
Break the Chain of Domestic Violence is another safe shelter. This new one accepts teenagers, including boys. To reach Break the Chain Against Domestic Violence, call toll-free (866) 869-4663.
The mailing address is P.O. Box 627, Crandall, TX 75114.
Other harder questions are asked by those either close to the situation, or those trying to find answers.
What makes a man abuse the woman he loves?
What makes a woman stay with an abusive man?
Part of the job of the help organizations is to educate by answering some of these perturbing questions.
One big misconception is that many times, according to the help organizations, women think it is their fault when they are abused.
When the abuser apologizes and promises he will not do it again, women believe them, until the next time it happens.
Finances can be like a chain holding a woman, especially if she has small children. She will remain in the abusive situation because she is afraid she won’t be able to feed her babies.
Maybe she came from an abusive environment, and believes this is the way life is.
What kind of person is the abuser?
They are often controlling individuals who must have their way.
Even deciding if someone is being abused is often difficult for those close to the situation.
The East Texas Crisis Center has published a list of warning signs on how to recognize the dynamics of domestic violence.
“The more items checked on the list, the more dangerous the situation might be,” the notice explains.
The list explains destructive criticism, verbal abuse, pressure tactics, disrespect, abusing trust and breaking promises are the beginning signs.
The harsher acts include economic control, abusing alcohol or drugs, and preventing the spouse from seeing friends or relatives.
Abuses also include the abuser monitoring phone calls, following you, destroying your possessions, making or carrying out threats to hurt you, sexual violence, being violent to you or the children and household pets, slapping, punching, grabbing, burning, stabbing or shooting.
One thing is a fact – when someone finds themselves in an abusive situation, they need help and support to find a way out.
Statistics often illustrate facts that few are aware of.
Abuse occurs in one of every four relationships.
Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted and beaten in the United States.
In 2001, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department alone responded to 810 domestic violence calls.
The statistics were provided by Break the Chain of Domestic Violence.

Genesis Center gets new playground
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–This summer the Genesis Center in Kaufman received an awesome gift from the youth of the Calvary Worship Center of Corsicana.
The youth group built a playground for the center.
The Calvary Worship Center youth group leaders, Brian and Tammy Boyd, gave them a choice between a fun trip or building the Genesis Center a playground. They chose to build the playground.
This playground had been a need for the Center, which house up to 40 women and children.
The Genesis Center is a faith-based program for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, paroled or just homeless.
Thanks to the youth group’s labor and love, the playground is now a reality.





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