Welcome to part two of our Inspirational Interview with Anita Hildreth, Executive Director of DomesticShelters.org.
Anita has worked in the corporate world as a human resources executive for 18 years, before joining Theresa’s Fund, the nonprofit which operates the website, www.domesticshelters.org as their Executive Director almost two years ago. As a survivor of childhood domestic violence, Anita is passionate about helping survivors of domestic violence and is proud to work for an organisation which helps so many. In this part of the interview, Anita talks about the services provided by DomesticShelters.org.
Picture is from DomesticShelters.org with permission from Anita Hildreth.
You can read the first part of her interview here.
6. DomesticShelters.org states that survivors of any form of domestic violence can seek help from your website. Why do you think there is a need for a more nuanced approach and understanding of domestic violence?
There is a common misperception that domestic violence means cuts and bruises. As we know, there are many more forms of abuse in addition to physical abuse. And it can affect anyone, regardless of income level or demographic. It is important that domestic violence survivors understand that they are being abused. Empowering them with the knowledge and information we provide on our site can be the first step to leaving an abusive situation.
7. DomesticShelters.org is a major resource for victims and survivors who are seeking information and help in their local area to facilitate escaping and healing from domestic violence. What about victims and survivors who aren’t ready to seek help for leaving their abusers yet? What sort of resources does DomesticShelters.org provide for them?
Half of the people who come to our site are looking for a shelter. The other half are looking for information. We provide a wealth of resources on our site, from over 430 keyword-searchable and easily shareable articles, to listings of national and international domestic violence organizations, state coalitions, statistics, infographics, recommended books, and the list goes on.
We are very active on social media too. Our 74,000 followers on Facebook comment on and discuss our articles and help each other. We are always finding new ways to add more resources to our site, so that we can help even more survivors.
8. Apart from providing a searchable directory of domestic violence shelters, agencies, and organisations, what other services does DomesticShelters.org provide?
In addition to those listed in the prior question, we also recently launched a new “Wish List” programme for shelters. It operates much like an online wedding or baby registry. Shelters can go on our site, and populate their wish list items from over 2,000 items to choose from and share their list with donors, for free. Shipping addresses are obviously kept private. It’s easy for both shelters and donors. 134 programmes in 39 states are currently benefitting from our Wish List programme.
9. How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support DomesticShelters.org?
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter, which contains the articles we publish each week – signing up takes just seconds on our site! Share our articles; follow our Facebook page; retweet our posts; if you have a website, list us as a resource where appropriate. You never know, you could be saving someone’s life.
Since we are a nonprofit, I should also mention financial support via donations on our site or purchases on a wish list are always appreciated. Like any nonprofit, we can’t operate without the support of our donors.
10. In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?
Domestic violence can be a taboo topic, so building awareness is key. So is educating our children early and often, so that the cycle of violence can be stopped.
Lastly, believing victims and holding abusers accountable is critical.