JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — In Jefferson County there is a safe haven nestled among the suburbs.
There are no signs out front, its address is confidential and it looks like a normal house on the inside and outside.
But ALIVE Inc. is much more than that for the women caught in a physically or sexually abusive relationship…often caused by the anonymity of online dating.
They’ll pick up their whole life and they’ll move to Jefferson County under the pretense that it’s going to be a good thing, this is going to be great, and they get here and it’s not what they expected.Jodi Scheetz, Executive Director, ALIVE Shelter
So when they’re stuck in an area with no other family or friends to lean on…ALIVE is the soft place they can fall.
Offering beds, a kitchen, and a room filled with clothes, the shelter is where they can rebuild what their abuser destroyed.
There’s even a playroom for the kids, who are just as hurt as their mothers.
The statistics tell us that about 60% of little boys who grow up witnessing violence, seeing their mom be abused, go on to become abusers in their adult relationships. We know that about 50% of the little girls who witness Mom be abused go on to become victims in their adult relationships.Jodi Scheetz, Executive Director, ALIVE Shelter
The women who sit behind the desks don’t just shield their clients—they fight for them.
They head to the hospital with food and new clothes for victims of rape.
They go to court to help them file restraining orders.
And they visit high schools, where teens need to see what healthy relationships look like as they begin their own.
We feel like that’s where we’ve got to get them, is when they’re little. When they’re younger.Jodi Scheetz, Executive Director, ALIVE Shelter
It was in recognition of these efforts that they were awarded $175,000 by the state.
They plan to put it toward making more of their staff full-time, after federal cuts brought their hours down in 2018.
I think that’s the main role of the shelter is to provide support for survivors, whatever that looks like for them.Jodi Scheetz, Executive Director, ALIVE Shelter
Whether that’s legal support, or just a snack after a traumatic night, their support will continue to rest quietly away form the danger of the world.