Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you promise confidentiality?
A: Absolutely. All services are strictly confidential.
Q: Isn't Steps to HOPE just an emergency shelter?
A: No. While we provide temporary emergency shelter to women (and their children) who are escaping domestic violence and sexual assault situations, we also offer an array of non-residential programs to help men, women and children rebuild their lives. All of our services are completely free (*excluding BIP (Batterer Intervention Program)), completely confidential, and client safety is always our first priority.
Q: Why doesn't the victim just leave?
A: There are many reasons why a victim of domestic violence does not "just leave." While every victim is different and has their own story and journey, many of the reasons stay in a toxic relationship are oftentimes the same, and include one or more of the following:
- Fear - Abusers often threaten over and over that they will hurt the victim, their children, a pet, a family member/ friend or themselves. A victim may stay in the relationship because they are scared of what the abuser will do if they leave.
- Low self-esteem - When an abuser calls their partner names, puts them down and plays mind games it can make the victim feel bad about themselves. Many times victims believe that the abuse is their fault or that they deserve the abuse.
- Finances - Victims may not leave because they are scared that they will not have enough money to support themselves - a fear that often gets worse if they have children.
- Children - It is very common for a victim to stay with an abusive partner because they do not want to "break up" their family and are afraid that it might be hard on their children if they leave. Victims may be afraid that the abuser will take the children away or that they might hurt the children if s/he is not there to protect them.
- Control - Victims often mistakenly think that they can control their partner's abusive behavior by doing exactly what s/he wants and by doing everything perfectly. But the only people who can control the violence and the abuse are the abusers themselves.
- Hope for change - Abusers often promise that they will change and that the abuse will not happen again. Many victims want to believe this is true, and they hope that the abuse will end and things will get better.
- Pressure from friends and family - Friends and family of a victim may not be supportive. Victims may not be believed, told that the abuse is their fault or that all relationships have bad times and that s/he should try harder. Friends and family may also get angry because the victim stays with the abuser or has left and gone back to the abuser so many times. Plus, friends and family may be scared about their own safety - what will happen if the victim stays at my home, etc.
- Isolation - Many abusers isolate their victim from his/her friends and family in order to gain more control. By the time the victim decides they want to leave, s/he may feel like they have no one to turn to and nowhere to go.
Q: Do clients work and/or go to school?
A: We encourage everyone to have as normal a life as possible while staying in our shelter. Our goal is to empower residents to learn to survive after they leave the shelter. Therefore, whenever it is safe to do so, children stay in their own school, or, perhaps move to another school, if necessary, to ensure their safety. The same is true for adult shelter residents. If it is safe for them to continue to work at their regular place of employment or school, they can certainly do so. If not, we will assist them in finding other opportunities.
Q: Do you offer housing for homeless persons?
A: Unfortunately, no. Our shelter is designated to provide safe shelter for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault as defined by grants that help provide our funding.
Q: Do you provide help to men?
A: Yes! We are here to help all victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault and we do not discriminate.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Information regarding the location of the shelter is kept strictly confidential due to the nature of our business to ensure the safety of all clients, staff and volunteers.
Q: How can I help?
A: Donations of money, gently used household items and clothing to Second Chance Thrift Store for resale, or volunteering at the store or Steps to HOPE is always welcome. Donations are cheerfully accepted at our Blanton Street door during store hours (M-F 10 AM - 4 PM, Sat 10 AM - 1 PM), pick up of larger furniture donations can be scheduled by calling 828-894-2373, or you may drop donations off at the administrative offices located at 60 Ward Street anytime.