Faith-based safe house on the West Plains helps DV victims break free

Domestic Violence is being called an epidemic in Spokane County. It tears apart families and continues or perpetuates a dangerous cycle, affecting the next generation.

The reasons a victim would stay with their abuser are many, but one that people don’t seem to talk about, is religion.

“Statistics indicate that in Christian homes abuse is just as prevalent as in the secular world. Very few people are addressing it. Many churches and religions don’t want to admit that abuse is in their congregation or in their religion” says Mable Dunbar, PhD.

She has created a safe house for survivors and a faith-based program to help survivors heal.

She says “I wanted to create an environment where women can be a part of nature and feel safe and feel the healing atmosphere.”

The home is tucked away in the woods of the West Plains. It can house up to 5 women and their children as well as a house manager.

The grounds are calming with a garden, greenhouse and a quarter-mile walking path. The women are encouraged to get out in nature as much as possible and to exercise and eat right, daily.

“We’re not a shelter, we’re a healing center. We focus on individuals who want to be healed and not just to find a place to stay for a few weeks or just to get away from abuse” says Dr. Dunbar.

She created a curriculum that she calls psycho-education and faith-based.

“We’re not focused on pointing anybody to any religion or trying to get them to go to church or that they have to have bible studies. What we’re trying to do is help these individuals understand that God does not want you to stay in an abusive relationship.”

Women can take part in the 2-month-long program and can repeat the course as needed.

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