Priest River, Idaho (PressExposure) December 25, 2008 -- Illness never chooses a convenient time to rear its ugly head â and this time it could herald the end of a service thatâs helped over 6,000 battered women across the U.S. escape life-threatening abuse.
This Hotline is unusual in that it connects battered women with those shelters that take both women and their children. Most shelters do not accept children, so mothers who fear for their children's lives as well as their own simply don't leave. They stay with their abuser in hopes of protecting the kids.
BMRF volunteer Marte Cliff says, "Every day in this country, ten women die at the hands of their abusers. And in 70 percent of homes where the woman is abused, the children are also abused. It's no wonder that women are reluctant to escape without their children."
Phillip Baney couldn't stand thinking about that, so in 2004 he gathered a small group of volunteers, started the Battered Mother's Resource Fund, and established it as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Working diligently, Phillip and his volunteers created a database of shelters across the U.S. that accept moms with their children.
In the past two years alone, over 6,000 womenâwith their kids in towâhave found a safe haven where they could start over and rebuild their lives without fear, all because help was only a phone call away.
Now, with so many people facing financial hardship during our nationâs current economic crisis, donations to the Battered Mothers Resource Fund have nearly dried up. In response, BMRF Director Phillip Baney simply started paying the bills himself.
Phillip shouldered this responsibility gladly. But then he had a heart attack, followed by open-heart surgery. Other complications have now put him out of the work force permanently. Since August, Phillipâs savings have kept the Hotline alive. But with no wages coming in, his savings are now gone - leaving no way to pay the phone bill.
The holiday season often brings out the worst in abusive personalities, so volunteers are urging concerned citizens to visit the Battered Mothers Resource Fund website and make a donation to keep the Hotline available and working during this critical time of year.
The site, http://www.BatteredMothers.org, also offers statistics and a virtual storehouse of factual articles about domestic abuse, including safety tips.
Marte Cliff adds: "Most of us would prefer not to think about abuse and its victims, but abused women and children reside in every community â and in families of all economic levels. Rich or poor, they urgently need our help."