New shelter provides haven for victims of domestic violence - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New shelter provides haven for victims of domestic violence

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

There is a new state-of-the-art shelter being unveiled in Gwinnett County on Tuesday for women who are victims of domestic violence.

The funds to build the $4.4 million shelter was raised in just one year!. Shelter officials say raising that kind of money should have taken 3 to 5 years, which goes to show just how badly this shelter was needed in Gwinnett County and how motivated people were to get it done.

The shelter sleeps 55 people which will make it the largest domestic violence shelter in the state.

"For the last five years, Gwinnett County has ranked first in the entire state of Georgia for the highest number of domestic related murders," said Shannon Clark, with the organization Partnership Against Domestic Violence.

It's an epidemic, says Clark. One that this shelter will hopefully help curtail.

"They truly believe they deserve it. They truly believe they're doing something wrong and there's a fatal flaw within them. Now, why that culture is happening more in Gwinnett than any other place, I don't know," said Clark.

The shelter has a massive kitchen where the women will be able to help themselves
    
"Even I come into this kitchen and go wow! I'm almost afraid to cook in it, but we're going to take it and make it a fun experience by allowing people to come in and teach us some cooking classes, and really make this a place where a lot of good vibes happen in the kitchen," said Clark.

The rooms have three to four beds each -- all of which have private bathrooms. Security is extremely tight, and there are plenty of areas for the ladies to relax, unwind, jump online, or watch their kids play. There are even private rooms for counseling sessions.
    
It's a home, completely free of charge that provides these women a safe way out.

"The hope that the facility provides for this group of women is truly a place, it's a sacred place, for them to come and get healing," Clark said.

Women will start moving into the shelter on Wednesday. Clark says it will fill up to capacity right away, as all of their shelters do. Its location is confidential and security is extremely tight, so these women are without a doubt in a safe place to move on with their lives.

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