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Sheltering Wings provides resources, support for those impacted by domestic violence

DANVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Danville domestic violence shelter says the most dangerous time for a victim is when they are trying to escape. Research suggests at least 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are suffering from some form of domestic violence.

Decades ago, Sheltering Wings founder Sue Hoffeditz says, she connected with a mother who needed her help.

“The kids were picking out food, and she said, ‘I think I have family in Wisconsin and this food is for our trip.’ I could tell they were leaving. I gave her food and a couple of vouchers for gas and she drove off. To this day, I can visualize her taillights.”

Since that day, Hoffeditz has been making connections. She is now leading the second-largest domestic violence shelter in the state. 

Sheltering Wings serves men, women, and children. Hoffeditz’s church and community helped her raise the initial seed money for Sheltering Wings. It is still growing.

“It was not hard to raise $1.8 million dollars and build this facility debt-free,” Hoffeditz said.

Anyone is welcome to stay at Sheltering Wings; it is open 24 hours a day.

“An individual or a family, they are welcome to stay with us here for a year, but an average number of times that a person goes back into an abusive situation is seven times before they finally leave,” Cassie Mecklenburg, a Sheltering Wings case worker, explained.

“We really just want people to know that help is available, and whether you have an understanding and a vision for what independence and safety even look like, we can help through conversation and through our classes help to form what that means for you.”

Sheltering Wings suggests you have a plan before you try to make an exit. They offer a 24/7 helpline to help you plan ahead. The number is (317) 745-1496.

It is also important to know the signs of domestic violence so that you can be aware if you are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship. There are multiple ways a partner can be abusive, such as verbally, emotionally, sexually, financially, or physically.

The nonprofit is in need of donations and is accepting gifts, money, and the time and efforts of volunteers. 

A graphic promoting 20 years of Sheltering Wings, a domestic violence shelter in Danville, Ind. (Provided photo/Sheltering Wings)