Domestic violence safe house planned for hispanic victims - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Domestic violence safe house planned for hispanic victims

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The domestic violence problem continues to grow...police worked nine cases in Albany Sunday.

And while it affects all races, it poses an even greater risk for hispanic women who are often reluctant to get help.  So tonight, an Albany woman is asking for help in opening a domestic violence safe house for hispanic women and children.

Kathia Collins teaches Spanish in the Dougherty County schools, and says she is often called as an advocate to translate for abused hispanic women. So now she is revamping a home to be used as a safe house for these women.

Since March, advocates and volunteers have worked on the safe house,but there's still a lot to be done.

Founder Kathia Collins said "Our goal for our home is in December, but we can't unless our community helps."

Collins says hispanic women in South Georgia who are victims of domestic violence often do not come forward.  Some because they don't know the help is available, and some because they are in the country illegally.

Collins said "Because their husbands are the sole providers, so they are afraid if they go forward, and they speak to authorities, they are going to be sent back."

But Collins says there are laws and immunities to protect these women. Collins said "I'm here to go out and help them and tell them in spanish, I'm here to help them."

This building at the Haven of Hope is being paid for through the PAWS program to protect abuse victim's pets, which she says is often a concern. But Collins is asking people in the community for help to finish the safe house, because she says the need is extreme.

Collins says her safe house will not be only for Hispanics, but she wants to make sure South Georgia Hispanics know there is help available for them.

You can donate to the Haven of Hope through their account at the Bank of America, but they are also asking for volunteers to help finish revamping the safe house.

You can call them at 229-317-7956.

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