YWCA needing more beds to help victims

Posted at 4:48 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 20:31:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Nashville's YWCA's shelter says they need more than double their current number of beds to help victims in the community, and are being forced to cut victims length of stay to help more people.

"They need to understand we're really at that epidemic level," said Sharon Roberson, President and CEO of YWCA.

Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states for women. In a recent report Tennessee ranked fifth in the nation for the rate that women are killed by men. Just six days ago, a 30-year-old woman was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend in Nashville. The week before that, an Antioch mom and her son was stabbed to death by her estranged boyfriend.

But unfortunately, those seeking a safe place to stay may have a hard time finding it. At the YWCA shelter their current bed count is 65. Roberson says in order to adequately help victims they need at least twice that amount.

The YWCA provides a short-term emergency shelter program for women and children. Right now they have to reduce a victim's stay to 45 days in order to help others. However, Roberson tells us that may not be enough time for a victim to get back on their feet, a process that can take up to 90 days.

"There's this adage that it takes seven times before a person can actually leave a domestic violence relationship, but part of that i think it they are not given the necessary time to go through process of healing themselves and moving their lives in different direction," Roberson said.

More beds would make a difference but it takes a village. "We really need the community put their will behind this issue so we can tackle it," Roberson said.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, reach out to the YWCA 24-Hour Crisis & Support Helpline at 1-800-334-4628.