Emergency shelters provide haven for survivors of domestic abuse in SWFL

According to statistics, survivors of domestic abuse go back to their abuser an average of seven times before they’re ready to leave.

It’s a difficult cycle to break, partially because they leave behind everything – their home, belongings, and sometimes pets.

But the emergency shelters want you to know, they’re equipped to help you.

Pat Mantey works with the Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples.

In her 18 years of work, she says she has seen it all. “I received a text from a woman who said that her husband locked her in … she said that he locks her in every day, and he was abusing her daily.”

When Mantey gets a call or text like that, she encourages the survivor to go to the emergency shelter. There are multiple in Southwest Florida and we’ve listed those for you below.

A different organization runs each county.

“When they first come in, we like to make them feel comfortable,” Mantey said.

As we toured the Naples location it was clear they’ve thought of everything. There’s a dog run and kennels to house pets.

At one point they had 44 animals ranging from iguanas to dogs and cats.

A pantry and refrigerator is stocked with food for the survivors to cook meals anytime they want.

“Sometimes this is the first time we’ve ever they’ve ever been able to think for themselves, Mantey explained. “I’ve had people come up, ladies come up to me and say, can I eat now? Is it okay if I can eat now?”

There’s a basketball court to get exercise, a playground, and a room dedicated to child care. Plus, it’s all protected by high walls.

The shelter also offers counseling and support groups on everything from financial help to parenting. All with the mission of empowering these survivors.

“I don’t think about looking at the black eyes or whatever. I look at it, I think about what I need to do to make this person have the life that they deserve,” Mantey added.

On average, a survivor spends 47 days in the emergency shelter. And all of those services are free.

Before you leave your home, advocates say have your emergency bag packed and stored at a friend’s house.

Include three days’ worth of clothes for you and your children, any medications you need.

Also bring any important paperwork, like birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses.

Resources

Charlotte County
Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies
Phone: 941-639-5499
Hotline: 941-627-6000
SMS Text: 941-449-8534
TDD: 941-627-6000
Website: carefl.org
Chat: resourceconnect.com

Collier County
The Shelter for Abused Women & Children
Phone: 239-775-3862
Hotline: 239-775-1101
TDD: 239-775-4265
Website: naplesshelter.org

DeSoto County
Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center
Phone: 941-365-0208
Hotline: 941-365-1976
TDD: 941-365-1976
Website: sparcc.net

Glades County
Abuse Counseling and Treatment
Phone: 239-939-2553
Hotline: 239-939-3112
TDD: 239-939-3112
Website: actabuse.com

Hendry County
Abuse Counseling and Treatment
Phone: 239-939-2553
Hotline: 239-939-3112
TDD: 239-939-3112
Website: actabuse.com

Lee County
Abuse Counseling and Treatment
Phone: 239-939-2553
Hotline: 239-939-3112
TDD: 239-939-3112
Website: actabuse.com

Reporter:Lindsey Sablan
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.
SHARE