New name, logo embrace SafeHomes' mission

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Jenny got married at the county jail, where her soon-to-be-husband was doing time for beating her up.

He hadn't proposed so much as threatened her: "come to the jail now and let's get married."

There was no family to witness the short ceremony.

Her wedding gown was a T-shirt and corduroy skirt.

She was 17.

Life up until that point had already been rough with her man, but it was about to become "hell on earth" as Jenny puts it.

For the next nine years she was punched, kicked, slapped, choked in her sleep, verbally abused, garroted with fishing line and wrapped in a sheet and left for dead.

"It almost cost me my life," said Jenny, whose identity is protected because she is in a safe haven for domestic violence victims. "This man refuses to stay away."

The difference, she said, was SafeHomes Inc., formerly SafeHomes of Augusta, which gave her shelter in 2007 and is giving her a place to stay because her ex-husband continues to stalk her. Jenny said she is waiting for her daughter to graduate high school before moving "far, far away."

SAFEHOMES, WHICH HAS been providing shelter to victims of domestic violence since the late 1970s, changed its logo and name this month to better reflect its mission and purpose.

Meghann Eppenbrock, spokeswoman, said SafeHomes of Augusta was shortened to SafeHomes Inc. because the non-profit actually serves 10 counties in Georgia.

The name change also comes with a remodeling of the SafeHomes' shelter for victims of domestic violence. Eppenbrock said the shelter was able to provide basic amenities, but community donations and volunteer work have transformed it into a friendlier and more welcoming home.

From the outside the house easily blends in with the surrounding neighborhood. Past the side entrance (a sturdy door that's always double-locked), is a dining area with a long rectangular table that can comfortably seat eight people. A large rug covers the blond wood floor in the living room, which is tastefully decorated with iron candle sconces and leather couches piled with pillows.

JENNY CAME HERE two weeks ago to escape her ex-husband. In spite of a permanent restraining order and years of separation, Jenny's ex has a habit of popping up unexpectedly.

"He'll give me enough time to think I'm safe ... then I'll suddenly see him (driving behind me)," said Jenny. "It freaks me out."

She's often asked why she stayed with an abusive husband for so long. The answer is complicated, but Jenny boils it down to one word: "fear."

Love and maybe a misguided devotion play a part early in the relationship, but it's more the fact that the abuser has gotten away with the beatings for so long that it seems no one can save you, Jenny said.

"I might go away for a day to let him cool down, but my intentions were always to go back," Jenny said.

Her first visit to SafeHomes changed that. For the first time in years, she could sleep without fear. People built her up, gave her choices, exposed the lies she had believed for years. That's when she realized she could never go back.

SafeHomes "helped me free myself from something I was ... bound and chained to," Jenny said.

Comments (8) Add comment
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 06/13/11 - 01:15 am
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Ladies love the bad boys and

Ladies love the bad boys and ignore Good guys.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 06/13/11 - 01:11 am
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If a guy tells you he’s

If a guy tells you he’s “bad”, you might want to take his word for it.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 06/13/11 - 01:13 am
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.

.

urright
462
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urright 06/13/11 - 08:31 am
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Crime--you are putting the

Crime--you are putting the balme on the worng person. The guys don't beat the women on the first date. They are on their best behavior for a while, then the abuse begins. The women then stay for a bunch of reasons--the most important being that they are threatened with death if they leave. 75% of DV murder victims are killed after they leave.

augusta citizen
8477
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augusta citizen 06/13/11 - 09:12 am
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This is a very worthy

This is a very worthy charity. I have donated in the past, but not in awhile. I will send a donation. AC maybe if you post a link to their site it will encourage others to donate, thanks!
Parents, please teach your daughters from childhood on that you will be there to protect them and help them should they ever get into a situation like Jenny's. I was blessed to grow up with a father and 3 brothers, who wouldn't have tolerated one of their own being abused if they knew. Believe me, I would have told them!! I think some girls are afraid or ashamed to tell, so parents let them know you will always care and if something like this happens it is not their fault.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 06/13/11 - 11:29 am
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One reason the movie Forrest

One reason the movie Forrest Gump became a classic is it related how Jenny thought Forrest was not "Hot". This "Hotness" women look for is no different that the "Hotness" guys fall for. Just keep in mind where there is "smoke" there is fire. Our society is trying to be politically correct by saying no one is ever at fault for STAYING with a bad person.. That it is always the other persons fault, they'll be killed if they leave and that may be true. These are all reasons to look beneath the cover of the Book when you are looking for a date. Not long ago people met each other in church or places like that. Now they meet at bars and places like that. If you hold fire to your chest and won't settle for anything but the "Hot Guy" don't be surprised if you are burned or bloodied. To hot guys the next sucker girl is just another sucker girl, but that doesn't stop the women from chasing the "Hot" guys. Then we read about them being killed when there were millions of nice guys they could have had a lot more fun with. It's no different with men. I warned a former Marine about one of my X girlfriends that was "hot" in more ways than one. She beat him bloody so many times he has had to seek refuge from her just like these women are hiding from their "Hot" guys.

TruthJusticeFaithHope
210
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TruthJusticeFaithHope 06/14/11 - 03:11 am
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Safe Homes, Inc., is a

Safe Homes, Inc., is a wonderful organization, with many needs. Sheltering domestic violence victims is difficult... and dangerous. The women who work at Safe Homes are angels. Support them if you can. The shelter location is not published for a purpose. Please help keep the angels safe.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 06/14/11 - 09:48 am
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Agreed, Safe Homes is great,

Agreed, Safe Homes is great, someone should donate $$$$ for some form of job training so more woman can make a living without having to depend on a man.

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