For women facing abusive domestic situations, it can seem as if there is no place to turn. Leaving an abusive relationship usually means picking up and leaving home, often with children in tow. Substance abuse, emotional instability and the fear of the unknown can combine to make an unlivable situation nearly impossible to escape.
For women and children facing the misery of these situations, friends and family often are not able to provide the extensive support needed to break free from the cycle of violence and abuse. Police and government agencies can step in to lend some degree of help, but they, too, are often powerless to help women facing crisis situations.
The Kenai Women's Resource and Crisis Center, however, is in a unique position to help. The WRCC is designed to give women a safe, stable and compassionate place to turn when the world seems to have turned its back.
The center provides a wide range of services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including counseling, educational programs, shelter and even transitional housing.
The transitional housing aspect of the WRCC is perhaps the most valuable and comprehensive program the center offers. The center's transitional living center, which was recently renovated and expanded to serve the diverse needs of its residents, is the centerpiece of this program.
For as long as two years, women can stay at the center while they work to overcome and heal the physical and emotional scares caused by what is often a lifelong battle with abuse. The TLC gives women a place free from violence and intimidation, a place where they can learn to be confident in who they are and where they're going.
It's not a flashy program. The transitional living center itself is tucked away in a quiet Kenai neighborhood, with no signs to advertise its presence. Its residents work, go to school, make friends and basically live the lives most of us take for granted.
That's its appeal, and that's its goal. Because the normal routines most of us go through in our daily lives are a far cry from what many of the woman and children who live at the center are used to. They're used to cycles of violence, mental abuse, chemical dependency and neglect. For those who turn to the WRCC for help, everyday life is not a pretty picture.
But it can be. With the help of the center's staff and programs, many women have been able to break these terrible cycles. They've moved on from the transitional living center into stable homes, productive jobs and better lives. For them, the WRCC and its transitional living center have provided life-changing (or saving) support and guidance.
It's for these reasons, and a host of others, that the Women's Resource and Crisis Center deserves as much community support as possible. If you don't believe the WRCC is working to improve the community as a whole, think again.
It's been proven that children who grow up in abusive situations learn that behavior and pass it on through subsequent generations. This behavior leads to increases in violent crime, robbery, sexual assault, drug and alcohol abuse and a myriad of other social consequences.
If it weren't for the WRCC and its programs, its highly probable that there would be more criminals walking the streets. And it's certain there would be more women and children facing the grim reality of another day of abuse.
Over the past week, the WRCC has been working to raise funds for its programs, including the transitional living center. On Friday, the transitional living center will host an open house at its newly-remodeled facility at 403 N. Gill Street in Kenai. Stop by and check out the new children's activity and education room.
On Saturday, the WRCC will host its 16th Annual Run for Women. Show your support for what they do by stopping by the race and cheering on the competitors. If you're a woman, maybe even drop by and enter the run yourself. If you don't have time for the race, the WRCC is always looking for financial, volunteer and in-kind support.
By supporting the Kenai Women's Resource and Crisis Center, you're not just supporting victims of violence and sexual assault, you're supporting the entire community. More importantly, you're supporting its future. And that's an idea we can all run with.
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