Where can you go for help if someone you love becomes violent at home? That’s a question local and state leaders are trying to tackle for domestic violence victims in Anderson County.
Tara Allen escaped an abusive relationship over a decade ago, but she says she’s reminded of what she overcame every day.
“I almost felt hopeless. You feel like nobody cares, like you are there by yourself,” Tara added. “You become an object instead of a person and you feel like nothing. Nothing.”
Tara says she never expected her relationship to turn violent. But when it did, she says she didn’t know where to go for help.
“It was like being in a place of darkness. You just don’t know where to go, where there’s safety. Where can I go where he won’t find me? Where can I go where I can take care of my kids?”
Now, a survivor she advocates for other men and women facing abuse. She’s helping the Anderson County council and United Way establish a task force to address what they call a gap in response for domestic abuse.
“I learned I’m not a garbage can. I don’t have to take anybody’s trash like that,” Tara said about her survival.
They’re pooling all their resources together so that when a domestic abuse victim needs to call 211, they know there is someone close to home they can turn to.
The group is also working on ways to publicize to the community, the legal, financial and safe location options available.
“Whether it’s for the victim or for their children, all of those things wrap together to be able to help as we tackle this problem,” Carol Burdette, united way chief professional officer
“It’s hard but then you got to think about surviving. You got to think about your kids that deserve better and you deserve better because you matter,” Tara said.
They want to encourage men and women to get out of their violent situations and let them know that they don’t have to do it alone.
The Anderson county domestic violence task force is meeting monthly. South Carolina is currently the worst in the nation for domestic abuse against women.
To find out how you can get help call 211, your local police department or click HERE.