Statistics show that, nationwide, one of four families suffers from domestic violence or sexual assault by family members. This is an epidemic that crosses economic levels, cultural and ethnic groupings and location. There is not a typical situation because it can arise anywhere. Alecia Peters, Executive Director and Founder of the Healing Hearts Center, explained to the Rotarians what her organization does to help ease the situation.

Too often the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault are too afraid or too ashamed to come forward to try to get help. In 2012 alone 112 women in Texas were murdered in family violence so the fear is reasonable. A woman may be told if she leaves she and her children will be killed. In the meantime there are beatings and emotional abuse that reduces her self-confidence and self-worth.

The signs of abuse are dominance to be in charge, humiliation to destroy self worth, isolation to increase felt dependence, threats and intimidation to keep you in line and denial and blame to excuse their inexcusable actions. If this is where you are you need to call the 24-hour crisis hotline to begin the process to get help.

The Healing Hearts Center offers the 24-hour crisis hotline, individual counseling, support groups, emergency temporary shelter, case management, a referral source and community education. It is all provided at no cost as everything is funded through donations.

Healing Hearts is supported by the United Way, First United Methodist Church, the Avenue Church and individual donations. They are a 501(c)(3) organization so donations are tax deductible. Gifts in kind such as diapers, clothing and school supplies are also welcome.

Each day the participants have a session to help them heal. It includes a devotional time with prayers. The Centerís Bible verse is Psalms 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

For more information contact Ms. Peters at 972-388-4777 or the web page at www.healing-hearts-center.org. The 24-hour crisis hotline is 1-800-828-7893 and they advise if you are in immediate danger to call 911.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Waxahachie where we believe in Service Above Self and doing things as a club we cannot do alone, visit the club web site at www.waxahachierotary.org. You can find American flag subscription forms on the website.