Reflections from 2015 NWAWS residents describing how they feel as a result of their stay. In 2015, the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter (NWAWS) provided temporary, emergency safe shelter and other services, on average, to 20 adults each month.
Our clients who resided in-shelter benefited from the following–at no cost to them.
Room, with a private bath, and utilities, paidFood, and access to a communal kitchen with cooking appliances, cookware, and dishes, allowing our residents to cook for themselves and their familiesBasic living essentials (toiletries, over-the-counter medicine, laundry detergent, etc.)Transportation financial assistance (as permitted by available funding) to/from work, school, medical appointments, court and other legal appointments, and job interviews24-7 access to a computer lab to create resumes, apply for jobs, and connect with familyProfessional advocacy services to identify personal goals of safety, create action plans for the future, and to connect clients with other community resources
While our clients do not pay, the cost (updated to today’s operational expenses) is $75 per day per adult.
Our name, the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, implies that we provide shelter to women. But did you know, we are unique as we allow men who choose to end abuse and violence in their lives to also live in our Shelter? We do not discriminate in the provision of our services by age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, citizenship status, or any other legally-protected classification.
(And almost half of our residents are children. We will provide more details regarding the children we serve in a later highlight.)
Other basic information about our Shelter’s adult clients who lived in-shelter in 2015:
The largest age group of adults living in our shelter is 18-29.The average household income, with the abuser’s income removed, was a little more than $7,300.Spanish was the primary language for 7% of our residents. Our bilingual professional advocacy staff, administrative staff, and volunteers eliminate language barriers in supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.42% shared that they had witnessed domestic violence as a child. One in four had been molested as a child. We are committed to helping adults and families break the cycle of violence and abuse NOW—for both their lives now and for their children’s futures.Just under half of our residents lived in Benton County. Another 33% of our residents were from the other counties in the Northwest Arkansas region we serve: Carroll County, Madison County, and Washington County. In the efforts to escape from their abusers, the remaining residents came from other counties in the state and from other states (California, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin).
NWAWS also supports and provides safe shelter for victims of sexual violence who meet our eligibility requirements–another unique service we provide within our Northwest Arkansas region.
Nationally, studies show that 8% of victims of domestic violence experience sexual violence by their intimate partners. One in four of our residents in 2015 were victims of sexual violence, in addition to other forms of violence, abuse, and control.
And a small percentage (2%) shared they were victims of human/sex trafficking.