How the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties is working to end the cycle of domestic abuse

Building a brighter future

The Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties helps end the cycle of domestic abuse.

The Battered Women's Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties

The emotional, physical and psychological impacts of domestic violence can be devastating, making it difficult for victims to overcome their experiences and lead peaceful lives. At the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties, staff helps families suffering from abuse by giving them tools and resources to heal and find a better life.

The agency is the only organization in Summit and Medina counties focusing on intervention and prevention of family violence, with services including crisis intervention, emergency crisis centers and counseling for women, children and men fleeing violent living situations.

“When people living with domestic violence get to a point where they say, ‘I don’t want to perpetuate the cycle,’ we give them the opportunity to find a way to live in peace,” says CEO Terri Heckman.

How its people help

In 2016, the Battered Women’s Shelter provided services to more than 20,000 people, Heckman says. Some families seek intervention before a bad situation turns worse, while others need a place to stay for a few nights — or for much longer. For victims of all ages, the agency provides safe shelter, food, health and personal care services, and legal and career counseling to help get them back on their feet.

To better achieve that goal, about 10 years ago, the agency initiated plans to move out of its aging 68-bed facility and into a vacant nursing home facility that would more than double its bed capacity. The shelter raised financial support from more than 400 community donors, but when building code requirements demanded unbudgeted renovations, Heckman wrote a letter to Huntington.

“Within hours, I was on the phone with Huntington talking about the need,” says Heckman, a licensed social worker. “They said they believed in our mission and would be proud to get on board.”

About the organization

Name: Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties
Location: Akron, Ohio
Phone: (330) 374-0740
Mission: Providing emergency and support services to victims seeking to end family violence.

How you can help

The Battered Women’s Shelter & Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties needs help providing resident meals during the facility transition. If you or someone you know needs help with a family violence situation, please call the 24-hour confidential hotline at (330) 374-1111.