MORRIS – Breaking Away Inc. is a nonprofit to aid those involved in domestic violence cases and was formed in December 1996.
As the number of domestic violence cases increased, at the time they reached out to police for aid, there was no safe shelter for them locally in the county.
According to a new website created by the organization, “Rose Marie Bell, former Grundy County Circuit Clerk, addressed the need for a temporary domestic violence shelter. She partnered with community leaders to raise money and establish a local safe shelter for domestic violence victims. Since then, we have a 20-year track record of providing temporary shelter for domestic violence victims in Grundy County.”
Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland said the group has been working for two years to get more visibility, and the creation of the new website was a way they felt they could do that.
“We were the Girl’s Night Out beneficiary which helped raise money to create the website, so now we’re announcing that the website is up and running,” Helland said.
The site www.breakingawaygrundy.com states what the organization is, how it can help and gives contact information as well as accepts donations to house those who need to seek shelter immediately to leave an abusive relationship.
“The primary purpose of Breaking Away Inc. is to provide emergency services to families that are affected by domestic violent. The main service that we provide is temporary housing for domestic violence victims. We consider clients for our services when a police report is made by a victim of current or past domestic violence,” said Helland, who also serves as the board president.
He said during a phone interview on Monday that they are the only access to shelter for domestic violence victims in Grundy County and, with the numbers reported in Grundy County, he feels it’s important the information can be easily found.
In 2013, there were 104 cases, 2014 there were 127 cases and in 2015 there were 69 cases of domestic violence against both women and men reported.
“The importance of having immediate shelter within the county is to make sure no one gets killed while the tensions are high,” Helland said.
Once the victim, and possibly their children, are given immediate shelter they are put in touch with other social service agencies who can help them permanently get out of their situation.