ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Every 15 seconds, a woman is abused. Every 10 seconds a child is abused according to a domestic violence refuge in Albany.
To help fight against domestic violence this month, Haven of Hope held a meet-and-greet dinner at Los Vaqueros to let people know they are here to help.
While people dish up their food, Haven of Hope Refugio de Salvacion serves all nationalities of domestic and sexual abuse. The non-profit group has been serving the Albany area since 2006. It's holding a fundraiser to help build a safe house.
Several years ago, Diane McCulloch never thought she'd survive an abusive relationship.
"It hit a big nerve," said McCulloch. "I was in a relationship where the guy I was with put a 9mm gun to my head." I said go ahead I don't care anymore. I just don't care anymore."
That was until she found help. Now she wants to give back. As a property manager at several mobile home parks she's helped women who come in her office who are involved in abusive relationships.
"People are coming into the office more and more often saying I need help and I need to get away," McColloch added.
Director Kathia Collins says when she receives phone calls from female victims, she places them in safe situations until she can raise enough money to provide a safe house.
"With all the domestic violence situations that are happening right now, we have to build an awareness with the public because some people are afraid to speak out with what's going on," said Collins.
Collins says the time to act is now. Earlier this month, a teacher's aid shot and killed two children and turned the gun on himself in Colquitt County. An Albany woman shot and killed her ex-husband after an argument.
"The scares will heal, but what happens emotionally never goes away," McColloch added.
Haven of Hope's goal is to empower people who have suffered this abuse. for more information, contact the Haven of Hope office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 229-317-7956.
Many people put up with violence not only for their children, but for their pets too. The non-profit group says spouses use that as threat and a tool to control the relationship.