Aren't battered women's shelters just band-aids for the problem?
Battered women's shelters are not a "band-aid" solution to domestic violence, but an important life-saving response to the problem, just as ambulance and hospital emergency rooms respond to medical crises.
Shelters are a critical component of the community's efforts to ensure the safety and protection of the victims. Making available safe shelter for battered women and their children is essential to ensure such protection, particularly for low-income women who may lack resources to find safety elsewhere.
Shelters not only offer women refuge, but other essential supportive services, including legal, economic, housing, medical advocacy, court accompaniment, employment and job training assistance, support groups for residents and nonresidents, and child care and special children's counseling programs.
But, beyond performing crisis intervention and providing essential victim services, shelters are an important grassroots effort towards effecting the social change that is necessary to prevent and, ultimately, end domestic violence.
For example, advocates for battered women, working through shelter programs, have worked to pass important state and federal legislation on domestic violence.
In addition, shelters also are the focal point for educating the community about critical issues, training of law enforcement and other professionals who often confront domestic violence in their work, and for establishing and monitoring counseling and education programs for abusers.