Dorcas House sees increased population | News
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Dorcas House helps victims of domestic violence in Arkansas and this time of the year they have a packed house.
Director of Women's Ministries Dorcas Van Gilst says it's the largest group of residents she's seen in the past five years. And the holidays are always a hard time. "We tend to see a rise during the holidays and then it starts again around Father's Day! Father's Day seems to be very stressful for men who aren't good parents and so they tend to take out that anger- when they are angry at their children- they tend to take out that anger on women."
VanGilst, spends her time mentoring, counseling and nurturing women who've suffered domestic abuse. Abuse typically spikes this time of year.
"Yes the holiday does bring that. I think people are inside a lot more. There's the stress of not having enough money. Those type stressers that are already added to a very bad situation."
Bad situations such as sexual abuse and drug addiction are what these women struggle with.
Van Gilst bonds with her clients--and just last week it became even more real for her when her own daughter was attacked.
She says, "I've had so many parents say I've never thought this would happen to me. Well you know what? I never thought that would happen to my daughter! That two guys would run up behind her, slam her into the car, take her money and punch her in the face? For $60? You're gonna hit my daughter for $60 dollars? I'll pay you $60!"
Childcare, warm meals, workshops and chapel make up these victims' routine. Dorcas House runs on donations: They can't close their doors when donations go down.
Van Gilst says, "I can tell you that we are more full than maybe we have ever been! It's not that we don't have any beds left but we find a way to make beds for people who need them."
Finding a way, just like the women they help every day.