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Refuge offers domestic violence survivors sanctuary

April 1, 2014 • Local News

Cindy Wilson, executive director of the Roswell Refuge, a shelter for battered adults, speaks to the Kiwanis Club on Tuesday. (Randal Seyler Photo)

Domestic violence is much more common than you think, and it happens way too often — and chances are good you know a victim of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is generational,” said Cindy Wilson, executive director of the Roswell Refuge. “Many times, this is just the way it was for the grandmother, and the mother, and it just keeps getting passed along.”

She said people tend to just think of domestic violence as being physical in nature.

“It’s not just about beatings and bruises, but it is about emotional control,” Wilson said on Tuesday. “Emotional wounds can go much deeper than any bruise.”

Wilson defined domestic violence as the emotional control of any person in an intimate relationship.

“We’ve seen cases where the abuser will take away car keys, and give his spouse a cell phone and say ‘you will call every 10 minutes and you better not be late.”

The Refuge provides a safe haven for women and children trying to escape abuse, but about half the time the women leave the shelter only to return to their abuser, Wilson said.

In 2013, the shelter provided refuge to 215 women who had been abused by their husbands, boyfriends or other family members.

The Refuge also served 271 children who had also experienced or witnessed those acts of violence.

Wilson said the shelter is looking to expand in the near future, and will be Login to read more

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