Domestic violence programs across Texas are seeing a dramatic increase in families needing emergency services, just as donations are down.
"They are the five- and six-figure donations, so it's made quite a dent in our fundraising abilities," said Mary Lee Hafley, the executive director.
And along the way, a program that provided specialized help for victims who are illegal immigrants was cut. There are federal programs in place to help such women, who may be afraid to ask for help and remain with their abusers.
"Her abuser typically holds that over her head and uses that as a weapon to keep her in the abusive situation,” said Hafley. “And his threats may be, 'They'll deport you,' or 'They'll deport you, and you'll never see your children,' or 'If you go to a shelter, your children can't go with you, you'll never see them again,' and 'I'll make sure you never see them again.'”
Because Safe Haven no longer has an immigration attorney to help, dozens of its clients are in limbo.
For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit: safehaventc.org.