Billions have now been spent establishing shelters for battered women. Such shelters can presently be found in virtually all metropolitan areas. However, there are increasing questions about their effectiveness both in terms of cost, results, and credibility.
We think few begrudge the money spent to provide a safe haven for women and children in distress. Any society that is to survive must make the safety of pregnant women and children one of its first priorities.
Today we are met with a barrage of propaganda indicating that domestic violence is an ever increasing problem. And the list of abuses seems to grow exponentially until every man is a "batterer" and every woman a "victim." Common sense has disappeared in mass hysteria and ever-broadening definitions in the law of what constitutes domestic violence and abuse.
When the source of such hysteria is sought, one primary origin keeps showing up: Women who operate shelters for battered women. And underlying their utterances is an ever increasing appetite for public funding by which they make their living.
For years, decades actually, these publicly funded programs have fought tooth and nail to be virtually exempt from Federal oversight, that is to have their programs monitored or audited by the government. We have long been concerned about the veil of secrecy under which these shelters operate and the likelihood of mismanagement so common with taxpayer-funded operations that are hidden from public review. While we support the need for shelters, we do not condone the practices summarized below. And the Equal Justice Foundation has documented many more such abuses of public trust.
Hello my name is [withheld]. I am currently located at a women's shelter in La Grange, Illinois, called the Pillars/Constance Morris house. When I done my intake on the phone I thought me and my children would be safe and treated with respect here.
We ran from Missouri because of the abuse from my husband and him trying to kill me. But coming into this shelter has been a total nightmare I have witnessed staff verbally abusing residents and refusing to help the residents with resources to help us start a new life.
We are told we can only use sugar for coffee and not cereal. Our children are not allowed to use the play room and there is nothing for them to do. Also we are constantly threatened to be written up for anything. We cannot help each other with our chores.
We feel like we are being abused here and we are still with our abusers. Myself, when I called for my intake I let them know I was disabled. But when me and my children came here some staff have been rude and due to the amount of cleaning and going up and down 3 flights of stairs my condition has gotten so bad I had to go the hospital after pleading with staff to lighten my chores so I would not be in so much pain. Staff wouldn't believe me and acted like they didn't care even after seeing the nurse who was very careless about helping me to do easier chores and have access to the elevator so I would not be in so much pain.
I even contacted my doctor who called the shelter to let them know what I could and could not do. I was later called in the office and told that this facility is not handicap accessible and I would have to find somewhere else for my kids to go. Because in order to be in their program I have to be able to do more chores than the dishes and wipe tables which my primary care physician called them and told them. Heavy duty cleaning is what I have to be able to do to stay here in this program.
I don't know anyone here in Illinois but a few friends. I feel so used and violated. They tell us they have no funding and cannot provide transportation for us ladies. We have no Internet access to look for jobs and houses.
Me and my children are going to be homeless because I can't perform the chores and they can't accommodate my needs as a handicap person. The nurse lied on me and I refused to do an assessment when I was in so much pain from doing so many chores and walking 3 flights of stairs I was asking for lighter chores and to use the elevator. I had my doctor call to verify my condition and let them know what I could and could not do. I was still made to take the stairs and it resulted in me having to go to the hospital that same day. I suffer from PTSD, major depressive disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia.