There’s no question that domestic abuse is a serious problem in our country. Yes, I know it’s a problem in other countries too, but we’re focusing on America right now. It affects women, children and men across all race and socio-economic boundaries.
One thing these individuals or families share is a feeling of helplessness, isolation and terror. The isolation and warning signs often begin slowly and subtly, or don’t show up at all until the abuser feels they have some hold over the victim – such as marriage, moving in together, or pregnancy. By the time the time the victim realizes something is wrong they have usually been made to feel like it is their fault, and/or they have no way out.
Here are some facts about domestic abuse (also known as intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence) as provided by Safe Horizon:
- Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.
- More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.
- 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year.
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
- Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the USA.
- Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Most women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence were socially isolated and had few social and financial resources.
That doesn’t even begin to cover the effect upon the three million children a year who witness domestic abuse, who are often put into harm’s way when they attempt to intervene. They are also more likely to have health problems and more likely to be either a victim or abuser of a partner in adulthood.
One California moving company, Meathead Movers, decided to step up and help individuals and families who needed assistance to escape an abuser.
There are many, many barriers when a victim decides to leave an abusive relationship, including the actual moving process. The President and CEO of Meathead Movers understands this, as shown in his interview with LA Weekly:
‘We know how hard it is to pack up someone’s life and move it to a new location — but it’s unimaginable to think about a woman and her children trying to pack up all their belongings and flee before the abuser returns home,’ said Aaron Steed, president and CEO of Meathead.
Although the quote only mentions women and children, the non-profits the moving company are partnered with and use to identify people in need includes men and transgender individuals. Some of these non-profit partners include Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno and the Good Shepard Shelter in Los Angeles. Anyone in those areas interested in using this program should first contact the non-profits. As Your Central Valley reports:
‘That way their expertise–they work with us in order to make sure the person who is going through the situation is really well taken care of,’ Coleman said.
Meathead movers train their employees to handle sensitive situations and be discreet in these kinds of situations.
It started years ago when the company started getting increased calls from people desperate to escape violent situations. According to Refinery 29:
‘Women would call upset and desperate to get themselves and their kids out of abusive situations,’ explained Erin Steed, corporate controller of Meathead Movers (and Aaron’s wife). ‘The victims are often cut off from the finances. They would offer TVs, or anything else they had, to pay for the move.’
The boys were quick to respond, and never accepting payment from people in this type of situation. One day, a move became violent when an abuser came home early, and the brothers realized they needed expert assistance to continue to help where they could.
If you are in need – there is help. You are not alone. It is not your fault.
If you are in California and someone is hurting you, and you need assistance of any kind dial 9-1-1 or 2-1-1. Nationwide you can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-787-3224 or 1-800-799-7233. If you’re not ready to call someone, here is a helpful comprehensive guide from HelpGuide.org. Make sure to read the part on how to clear your browser history and cookies.
The cynics among us might say these companies do these things because of the free publicity, but to be frank – I don’t care.
I wish there were more companies helping those in need, like the dry cleaners that offered free services for the un-employed, or Meathead Movers, who not only helps relocate domestic abuse victims, but also uses its Cinderella Fund to help children who are in need for a variety of reasons. Anytime someone who is truly in need is helped – it’s a good thing.
If you know of another company that is doing good things in your community, please share in the comments, or message the author. Maybe there will be a follow-up article and we can make it a trend. For this moving company, it’s so engrained it’s actually part of their mission statement:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBqUH7xJktM&w=560&h=315]
Featured image via Facebook