Established in 1981, the Care Lodge here in Meridian has been helping victims of domestic violence for the past 37 years. The Care Lodge still believes that domestic violence is a big issue in the community, and they want everyone to know that there are ways to go about getting help for a victim and also things to be cautious of.
“If there’s any retaliation, it’s going to be against the victim. If someone tries to intercede in that domestic violence relationship, it’s not going to be against the person who interceded, it’s going to be against the victim.”
They offer a wide range of services such as places to stay, free meals, and items of need such as clothing, household items, and children’s items, which they keep in their storage. A safety plan is established for each case of domestic violence pertaining to that situation, but director Payne reminds people that it is up to the victim to take the first step in getting help.
“So many times a victim believes there are no resources out there, there are no options out there, and that she’s alone. When we meet with that victim, we let her know that we are there for her and that we will advocate for her, but it has to be her decision.”
Director Payne stresses the importance of a victim making the decision to get help and that those at the Care Lodge are on the victim’s side and all it takes is just one phone call.
“Our number one issue here at Care Lodge is helping victims of domestic violence. It’s not about stats or statistics or numbers or anything like that, it’s about helping that individual when she walks through or when he walks through the door and providing the most effective, comprehensive services that we can.”