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The Short Version: For more than 30 years, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center has been providing domestic violence intervention and prevention services to individuals and families in North Texas. The center offers a high level of support to the people who walk through its doors, bringing a non-clinical, warm environment to help comfort those going through difficulties. With two shelters and a 24/7 crisis hotline, the center is only a call or short drive away for people in need. Hope’s Door New Beginning Center offers comprehensive services, including counseling, financial advice, and vocational training, to get people back on their feet after experiencing intimate partner violence. The center is a valuable asset to the community and, with assistance from volunteers and monetary donations, is sure to continue to serve the people of North Texas well into the future.
Nearly 20 people are abused every minute by an intimate partner in the US, and one in four women and one in seven men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.
The numbers are disturbing, but they don’t really tell the story about how far-reaching the effects of intimate partner violence can be. Physical abuse often carries with it long-lasting psychological repercussions that can affect a victim’s ability to escape to a safe space, find employment, and live a fruitful life without fear. While harder to spot than bruises, signs of abuse can include behaviors such as hypersensitivity, isolation from friends and family, and low self-esteem.
Thankfully, there’s a place where people can go to find relief. For more than three decades, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center in Plano, Texas, has provided a sanctuary for victims of domestic violence.
“One of the most important things we can do is get out into the community and let them know it’s OK to give us a call,” said Jim Malatich, CEO of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center. “We want people to know we’re here to help them when they need it most.”
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center offers a broad range of services, including providing emotional and family counseling, financial advice, and vocational training, among many other methods of support. The center operates with the goal of stopping the cycle of violence and, through its Battering Intervention and Prevention Program, zeros in on abusers in an effort to change behavior patterns.
As one of the largest domestic violence support organizations in Texas, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center offers a unique approach to serving its community. The center has two shelters to provide much-needed services to those who need help leaving violent situations. But these locations are a bit different from the clinical nature often associated with shelter settings.
Jim told us the team at Hope’s Door New Beginning Center focuses on customer service and friendliness the same way a hotel might. Jim and his team want their guests to feel welcomed, especially when many arrive at the center during the worst periods of their lives.
“Our front lobby isn’t the typical waiting room atmosphere,” he said. “We want it to be an inviting atmosphere. We have lots of flowers and plants in front of the building, and there’s no typical waiting room.”
Instead, Jim noted, guests are greeted by a lobby with big, comfortable chairs. It’s more akin to a spa environment, where soothing music is played and aromatherapy wafts through the air.
“We have food and water out in the lobby to create a sense of comfort,” he said. “We carry that feeling throughout the entire office.”
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center removes the coldness from the trauma center and focuses on calming clients from the moment they arrive.
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center offers a number of services for those who’ve experienced family violence. The center has a hotline people can call for information or find out where they can receive help around the clock.
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center also offers an emergency shelter and Rapid Rehousing program to victims and children fleeing life-threatening situations. Those turning to the shelter are offered food, clothing, and daily living necessities, as well as other services.
According to Jim, 60% to 70% of those who come to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center due to family violence issues are also victims of sexual assault. Rather than send them to a Rape Crisis Center, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center developed a sexual violence counseling program, so a guest doesn’t have to bounce from place to place at an already traumatic time.
Guests can stay for up to 90 days in the center’s shelter and then have the opportunity to receive of rental assistance 12 months with Rapid Rehousing. Once on the path to recovery, people can take advantage of several programs, including the Dave Ramsey Financial Program (minus the religious aspect), vocational classes to work toward a career, parenting classes, and certifications they can achieve with a local college. Jim told us being focused on the future really helps many individuals move through the process of getting back on their feet.
Extensive counseling is also available, with both group and individual counseling programs as well as children’s counseling, which includes play and talk therapy. All counseling sessions are conducted by skilled professionals who are either licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, or master’s-level interns. Through therapy, individuals learn how abuse has impacted them and find strategies to help them in their day-to-day lives.
Unfortunately, many affected by family violence do not have the means to hire a lawyer. Hope’s Door New Beginning Center has two lawyers on staff to advocate for their clients. Legal advice is available on everything from protective orders to child custody, and restraining orders. The center supports clients in every way, either explaining legal rights and options, helping clients with court pleadings, and even full representation.
Hope’s Door New Beginning Center also goes to the root of the problem — the abuser. The Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) is a 26-week program where batterers can learn to eliminate the abusive behavior. The courses are offered for men and women in both English and Spanish. Those enrolled must pay for each 90-minute session they attend.
“The goal is to end the cycle of violence,” Jim said. “When they first come to us, we ask if they experienced violence growing up, and the vast majority say no. At the end of the program, we ask them again, and the vast majority change their answer to yes. They previously didn’t realize that violence isn’t a normal part of life.”
The program centers around removing all kinds of abusive behaviors from an intimate relationship, including controlling behaviors and physical violence. BIPP is compliant with state guidelines and accredited by the Criminal Justice Assistance Division of the State of Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Through BIPP, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center is working toward lowering the instance of family violence in the community by stopping it before it starts. Last year alone, it graduated 421 people from its program to stop abusive patterns.
The statistics surrounding domestic violence are staggering, indeed. The effects it can have on victims of abuse are long and lasting, and many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and suicidal impulses. Loss of job, financial instability and never feeling safe are other serious side effects of abuse. But one of the most shocking and cyclic effects is felt by children.
Children who see abuse are more likely to have drug and alcohol problems, carry a higher risk for criminal activity, and often suffer from depression. These children also have a greater probability of carrying on cycles of violence, as data shows boys who see their fathers inflict violence on family members are more likely to do so themselves as adults. This statistic only diminishes when there is an intervention. That’s why it’s so important to support organizations like Hope’s Door New Beginning Center.
There are many ways to be part of the change to reduce and ultimately eliminate family violence from society. You can help victims of violence by volunteering time or donating items to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center’s ReSale. Directly providing monetary support to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, goes a long way to help fund desperately needed programs and services. Hope’s Door New Beginning Center allows victims of family violence to build a stronger future for themselves and their children.