Indianapolis domestic violence shelter gives sanctuary to victims, their pets

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 24, 2015)-- An Indianapolis domestic violence resource center is marking six years of helping women.

Beacon of Hope operates on Indianapolis’ west side, and Terry Moore has been running the center since 2009.  Moore started the program with the idea of reaching more domestic violence victims on the west side.

Moore can relate to their pain.  More than 20 years ago, she said her then-husband abused her.

“He kept telling me that he was going to destroy my house and burn my house down with me in it as well as my cat,” said Moore.

She remembered the possibility of losing her beloved pet.  That’s why Beacon of Hope is unique in that when victims show up, they’re greeted by her dog, Lilly.

“Two years ago we started receiving phone calls of women wanting to get into shelters or their friend’s homes,” explained Moore, “And they could not because they didn’t have a place to put their pet.”

Moore started Lilly’s Lighthouse foster pet care, with her dog as the ambassador. They’ve accommodated more than 50 pets in two years. Even with all their successes, there’s one service Beacon of Hope can’t provide, and that’s shelter in their facility.

“We can do everything a shelter can do with the exception of housing the women,” said Moore.  “When we make a phone call to the shelters 99 percent of the time they’re full.”

Moore says they’re seeing more cases every year.  A 2014 study from the Polis Center at IUPUI found the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed more than 6,000 domestic violence cases in 2012.  That’s a 32 percent increase since 2009.

“There’s just so much more of a need for shelters in Marion County and surrounding areas because these poor women are sleeping in their cars with their children and their pets,” said Moore.

Part of the entry fees from Saturday’s Sharkfest Swim in the Canal will go to Beacon of Hope.

More information about Beacon of Hope, here.

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