The Secret Shelter, Part 3

Many of the families at Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter are not necessarily escaping physical abuse. One victim shared how she was abused.

Vera Veronica Walker says her reasons for doing the interview with Newscenter 11 are two fold.

"Number one, I want to live again, and not be in bondage," said Walker.

Secondly, she hopes to help someone in a similar situation.

Walker says she's a victim of psychological abuse. Aside from regularly insulting her appearance and restricting her interaction with others, she says her husband tried to get her to break the law.

"He always insinuated that 'maybe you need to prostitute a little bit'," Walker said. "And when I didn't, the psychological abuse became even more unbearable. He would threaten and say, 'I really just need to give you a good old fashion spanking and maybe that will kind of joggle you and let you know how this world operates'."

With her husband controlling most of the money for the household, Walker says she felt hopeless. In a last ditch effort, she decided to leave everything and everyone she knows or has ever known and relocate to the shelter.

"If we need a hug they're here for us at Care Lodge," said Walker. "If we need an ear, they're here."

For individuals such as Walker, or entire families escaping abuse, Care Lodge provides an array of services. This includes a childcare area, where Lottie Berry is one of the volunteers.

"They all call me granny. It's a help for me because it's something I can do to help somebody," said Berry.

"We help victims of abuse find a place that is affordable for them," said shelter director, Joy Jones. "We start out helping them pay a certain percentage of their bills. We help them learn how to budget. We work with them to know what they can afford, how they can afford it and then they eventually are on their own. It's a wonderful empowerment program."

"I have a new way of becoming the person that I used to be before I entered this abusive marriage," said Walker. "I have a second chance to be me again."

For more information about Care Lodge and the services it provides call 601-693-HOPE (4673).


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