Hendricks County domestic abuse shelter to build space for male victims

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A central Indiana shelter for domestic abuse victims is expanding its services. 

Sheltering Wings in Danville is preparing to break ground on a facility to house men who are escaping abusive relationships. 

While one in four women will experience domestic violence, one in seven men will as well. That’s why the staff at Sheltering Wings decided to grow its facility to add 12 beds for men and their children who need to leave an abusive situation. 

Right now, more than 60 women and children are staying at the shelter in Danville. 

Executive Director Cassie Mecklenburg says the foundation for abuse is control and that may be physical, but it could also be emotional, financial, even spiritual and that creates barriers for the victim in the relationship. 

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“For men that additional stigma of feeling like they should be the quote, unquote man of the relationship, is such an arbitrary consideration. And we want them to know that there’s help available and it takes a measure of vulnerability, but man does it take an ever greater measure of courage and bravery to step out. We want to empower men to have that voice, because they haven’t had that voice because of the stigma that goes along with it,” Mecklenburg said. 

Construction at Sheltering Wings for a men’s shelter is set to start in May and be completed sometime this summer. As they prepare to house men, the shelter is asking for donations of men’s hygiene items. The shelter is also always in need of women’s hygiene items including those for all hair types, as well as paper towel and toilet paper. 

If you are a victim of abuse right now, Sheltering Wings already offers services for men, just not housing quite yet. They can help with protective orders, counseling services, and more. Abuse victims can call the 24-hour Helpline at 317-745-1496.