While it may be shocking, domestic violence is just as prevalent in Adventist homes as it is among unchurched families. The Women’s Healing and Empowerment Network in Spokane, Wash., is working to minister to the growing need. Upper Columbia Conference news correspondent, Kathy Marson, recently visited with Mable Dunbar, W.H.E. Network director, to learn more.
Kathy: Mable, I've heard there is something new and exciting developing with the Women's Healing and Empowerment Network.
Mable: Yes, we now have more W.H.E. Network Healing Centers to assist women in crises. Patty's Healing Center has been in operation since September of 2009 and now the UCC recently donated the use of one of their homes which will be Frieda's Healing Center. And we also have a transitional home for people who need a safe haven.
Kathy: Can you explain the difference between these healing centers?
Mable: Patty's Healing Center is a safe home, donated by a Baptist pastor and his wife, and it's for single women without children who need healing from domestic violence or sexual abuse. We provide a daily schedule that includes group therapy, counseling sessions and a life-skills group. We are opening Frieda's to women and their children who are either in crisis due to homelessness or domestic violence. And really most homeless women are in this situation because of some kind of abuse. Freida's will hold their therapy sessions in the evenings so women can hold down a job. The transitional home is simply a place where we can take care of women coming from violent situations.
Kathy: Are these healing centers funded by donations, or is there a cost?
Mable: We just ask them to pay something, whatever they can each month. So this doesn't cover the cost completely and yes, we accept donations.
Kathy: I understand Freida's Healing Center opened before Christmas. What needs to happen and how can individuals help when they see this story in January?
Mable: The W.H.E. Network (http://whenetwork.com) still needs supplies. I'm excited at the possibilities of this home and hope it will inspire other conferences to replicate this.
Kathy: Just after my interview with Mable, a call came in with a need for a place of refuge. This need was met with the transitional home. God is using the W.H.E. Network to heal broken lives.