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Letter to the Editor: Join fight against domestic violence

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

It all started with a dress.

Well, really it started in 1981 when a group from Christ Episcopal Church started an outreach program for victims of domestic violence. By 1986, a shelter was purchased and since that time My Sister’s House has expanded to have offices in Nashville, Rocky Mount and Tarboro.

But for one client this year it started with a dress. This client, we will call her Abigail, was middle-class, college-educated and never thought for a moment that she would ever need services for domestic violence. That was before her husband began to use drugs and became abusive toward her.

And so, Abigail found emergency shelter through My Sister’s House and began to work with a caseworker who helped her with housing and employment resources. Abigail got an interview with a company in another town, a good paying job aligned with her past experience and education but had no means to get there. Staff from MSH helped Abigail update and print her resume, provided transportation to the interview and gave her a voucher for the resale store, A Second Season.

At that store, Abigail was able to find a dress for her interview. That dress, a donation from someone in this community, gave her confidence and a sense of self-worth. Abigail got the job based on her talents and experience, with a little help from MSH with transportation and her resume — and of course, the dress.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I encourage you to take some time to look in your closet for items to donate to A Second Season. Check out mshnc.org for other volunteer opportunities and wear purple to remember the lives lost to domestic violence and to show support for the survivors.

Emily Lemus

Executive director, My Sister’s House

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