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Butte domestic violence shelter gives victims a safe space

Posted at 5:34 PM, Oct 20, 2022

BUTTE — Domestic violence is a terrible cycle that can spiral into more abuse and even death. Fortunately, there’s a place in Butte that helps clients take that step of ending that cycle.

“Domestic violence is about power and control over the victim, so when someone is getting ready to leave and the abuser knows there leaving, then they’re losing that power and control and that’s the time the victim is most likely killed,” said Safe Space Director Tonya Geraghty.

Safe Space in Butte gives emergency shelter for victims and their children who are escaping an abusive partner. The shelter has helped just over 230 victims of abuse in the past year.

“We are ranked one of the highest in the state for domestic violence and we’ve lost so many people in this community to domestic violence,” said Geraghty.

Some of the staff members have experienced domestic violence themselves and know how difficult it is to recover from the trauma.

“It can take many, many years to repair yourself from the verbal abuse that you get, the mental abuse that you get, yeah, bruises heal, words don’t fade as quickly,” said staff member Skeeter Lingle-Scott.

Though it takes time, the shelter has seen clients recover and sometimes get letters of appreciation.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the help and believing in me when no one else did. You helped me get my mojo back on track as well as my life. I could not have done it without you, XOXO," Assistant Director Winchester Kessler read from a letter. “It makes everything worth it, because we like to say we get paid in good feelings here.”

The group is seeking more volunteers and donations are always appreciated. They also encourage victims to reach out to them.

“Spread the hope that it does get better and that life is wonderful and beautiful,” said Lingle-Scott.