Houston Organization Aids Victims of Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month highlighted at Fresh Spirit Wellness for Women, Inc.
According to BreaktheCycle.org, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country.
The site reported that domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s about physical and mental abuse as well as the breakdown of the spirit and self-worth.
Houston organization, Fresh Spirit Wellness for Women, Inc. stated that in 2017, Houston police reported more than 25,000 domestic violence cases with an increase of more than 40% compared to the number of cases in 2013.
Fresh Spirit Wellness for Women, Inc. is a Christian non- profit organization established to restore and empower women and youth. They have a special passion and dedication to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and their families, through counseling, empowerment coaching, educational classes, group therapy and workshops, and financial assistance.
Cassandra Mouton, MHRM, MBA, Executive Administrative Assistant with Fresh Spirit Wellness for Women, Inc. shared what they do to help those in need.
Please talk about how your organization is reaching out currently with the increase in domestic violence cases.
Fresh Spirit is constantly going out into the community to bring awareness by informing them of its services at various events. We not only go out into the communities to inform of our services, but we also provide services onsite such as counseling/therapy, court advocacy, case management, domestic violence education and prevention, support group facilitation, and we go out into the different workplaces to educate and train employees. Fresh Spirit is utilizing social media, word of mouth, and referrals to let people know we are available to help.
How do you receive clients to work with?
We receive our clients from word of mouth, social media, referrals (i.e. District Attorney office, police precincts, colleges/universities, churches, etc.), and outreach events sponsored by local organizations.
Your organization was founded in 1997, but how did it come to be?
Dr. Conte Terrell is a survivor of a domestic violence marriage. After finding the courage and strength to walk away, she wanted to help others who were also in the same situation. She did not know how she was going to do that, but she was willing to share her testimony to others.
From there, many survivors and those who were still currently in their abusive relationships began to reach out more to her. Not only was it rewarding to see those she was inspiring to get out and get healed, but it sparked her passion. As she continued to work on herself, she also went back to school to learn on how she can utilize her passion to better equip herself for the long haul.
How have you grown over the years, and what are your future plans?
Dr. Conte has not only learned about domestic violence, but she has become an expert and mastered the topic and issues. She is constantly seeking additional knowledge while encouraging clients and staff to better equip themselves. The future for Fresh Spirit is to expand so that we are able to help more clients not only in the Houston and surrounding areas, but in other states. Currently Fresh Spirit Wellness has 3 locations (2 in Houston and 1 in Atlanta).
For more information, go to www.freshspirit.org.
Photos courtesy of Fresh Spirit Wellness for Women