Hope’s Door donates domestic violence resources to Chelsea Public Library

Published 3:13 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

CHELSEA – Several domestic violence resources will soon be available to visitors at the Chelsea Public Library thanks to a donation through the local Hope’s Door organization.

Liz Sherrill and Michelle Sylestine presented library Director Dana Polk with a table full of books and other resources on the topic on Monday, Oct. 22, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Sherrill said that when she experienced domestic violence in the 1970s, information was hard to find, but Hope’s Door, with the assistance of a donor, wants to make resources readily available in Shelby County and surrounding areas.

The donation to Chelsea Public Library represented $329 worth of materials, Sherrill said.

Once processed, the books will be organized into an appropriate section, and staff members would be trained where to direct victims who come in looking for information, Polk said.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize how prevalent [domestic violence] is in this area,” Polk said.

Sherrill and Sylestine founded Hope’s Door in 2014, taking the name from the Bible (“Only God can transform your valley of trouble into a door of hope.” – Hosea 2:15).

“Our passion is to give women who are in these situations options,” Sherrill said. “Some want to leave immediately. Some want to stay. We want them to be able to do what they decide but with the information they need. We counsel to strengthen through faith.”

Hope’s Door is not a shelter but offers resources and connects victims with the services they need.

One in three women have experienced domestic violence in an intimate partner relationship. In 2015, Alabama ranked second in the nation for women killed as a result of domestic violence.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department reports receiving about 940 calls related to domestic violence annually.

Hope’s Door develops, trains, counsels and empowers women in abusive relationships through its Serving Abuse Victims Effectively program.

“It’s a product of the society we live in,” Sherrill said. “We want to raise awareness and say, ‘There is something you can do.’”

More than 300 volunteers have served with Hope’s Door this year, helping with efforts including placing “Care Kits” containing hygiene items with the Alabaster Police Department and at each of the four SCSO substations for use when responding to a domestic violence crisis call.

Hope’s Door also introduced its “Silent Silhouette,” a cut-out that represents an actual woman killed by a husband or boyfriend, and now has two certified victim’s advocates that can assist with tasks including filing for protection from abuse orders.

Anyone with an immediate need should call the Shelby County 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline (205-669-SAFE [7233]), Birmingham 24/7 Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline (205-322-4878), National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE [7233]) or the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE [4673]).

For free faith-based domestic violence counseling, referral/resource information or advocacy training, contact Hope’s Door at info@hopes-door.org, 618-8058 or 677-3041.

For more information about Hope’s Door, visit Hopes-Door.org.

Hope’s Door is located at 221 King’s Home Drive, Building 16, Chelsea.