Women's abuse shelter fights to help those in need - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Women's abuse shelter fights to help those in need

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It started like the typical love story, "I was in love, got married and moved here," said Sherry Rush.

Rush says her husband, after a year of marriage, started physically abused her. She says it happened one time and that one time was enough for her to say goodbye.

"I know a lot of women, it happens two or three times but it only took me one time to realize that my life is more important and worth living than to have something like that happen to me," Rush said.  

For help, Rush turned to the place she calls her home away from home Hope Harbour in Columbus.

It is formally known as the Columbus Alliance for Battered Women. The 35-bed shelter has served women in need for nearly 30 years, giving them a place to go when there is nowhere else to turn.

"What we need to do is provide that safe place for women to go. That is what Hope Harbour does," says Rush

Hope Harbour's executive director says that tough economic times have made it difficult for shelters like theirs.

"Our rooms are usually full, the beds are usually full. For the women, it's harder for them to find jobs, it's harder for them to have affordable housing," says Hope Harbour's Executive Director Diane Hett.

Hett says these stressors make abusive situations even worse. She says some women stay at the shelter longer than expected because there aren't any jobs.

Rush did find a job and says it wouldn't have been possible without the help of Hope Harbour.

"If I could only tell you what Hope Harbour has meant to me, and the things that I've accomplished since I've been there, I'm getting ready to move into my own place, I'm excited about that and without Hope harbour I didn't think I could have done all that. So I'm thankful to God first then Hope Harbour," Rush said.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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