By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy
Domestic violence victims have a place to turn for help—a port in the storm—at Empowerhouse of Fredericksburg. The nonprofit organization offers many free, confidential services to domestic violence victims and their children in the city of Fredericksburg, as well as Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline counties.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, bringing the total to over 10 million women and men annually. Empowerhouse assists by providing a 24-hour hotline; crisis 24-hour, residential shelter and transitional housing; intervention and advocacy; risk assessment and safety planning; support/education groups for women, children and teen girls; court advocacy and more.
“I knew I would not walk this path alone because of Empowerhouse and all the support and advocacy they provided to me and other survivors of domestic violence,” — Jessica, Empowerhouse client.
After incorporating in 1978, Empowerhouse opened The Haven for battered women and their children the following year. An improved shelter opened as A New Haven in 1988, and eight years later they added a public office in Fredericksburg. A program and partnership was put in place to assist the Latino community with bilingual, bicultural services and community coordination in 2005. Empowerhouse expanded its program with a new transitional housing program in 2010.
The public can support Empowerhouse by making donations and volunteering. There’s plenty for volunteers to do, including the working hotline, public relations, court advocacy, support groups, babysitting and clerical work.
Empowerhouse’s Public Outreach Office is at 150 Olde Greenwich Drive (Suite 101) in Fredericksburg, and an advocate is at the King George Sheriff’s Office. Both locations are available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline number is 540-373-9373, and toll-free at 1-877-734-7238.