Domestic violence home in Hampton Roads reopens after flood, amid pandemic

Local News

HAMPTON ROADS, Virginia (WAVY) — A local domestic violence shelter on the Peninsula has reopened after it flooded last year.

It comes at a crucial time, when more domestic violence survivors are seeking help amid the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the Transitions Family Violence Services temporary homes reopened its doors as a safe space for anyone that is experiencing domestic violence in late June.

The shelter can house up to seven families, but with COVID- 19 recommendations, four families will be allowed for now.

In September 2019, the shelter flooded during dinner time, forcing survivors of abuse to evacuate.
After an exclusive inside look with 10 On Your Side, domestic violence awareness advocates and the community helped raise thousands of dollars to rebuild.

Sanu Dieng, Transitions’ director, said calls for help during the pandemic have gone up about 40%. Dieng says people need help the most right now.

“We are ready. We have a safe place for people to come to renew themselves. To find themselves and to leave here just with a new sense of purpose and empowerment to live their life free from violence … a lot of love and encouragement went into just every room, every fixture, [and] every decorative item. Just to make sure that survivors really feel like this is their home.“

Dieng asks you to call the 24-hour hotline at 757-723-7774, if you know someone or if you are experiencing abuse.

The renovated shelter is named “Darryle’s Heart” to celebrate the dedication of longtime domestic violence advocate Darryle Brown. Brown has committed more than 30 years to assisting survivors.

“I’m appreciative that people feel that I’ve done my best,” Brown said. “I know that in order to serve people, you have to do it with love. You can’t be judgmental. You can’t think that you know everything about a person, but you have to do it out of your heart and out of love, so I do feel that this place… is a place of healing.”

Advocates are working to raise money for the ‘Rapid Rehousing‘ program after survivors leave the shelter.

To donate please call 757-722-2261.

10 On Your Side is committed to help Break The Cycle of domestic violence in Hampton Roads.

Here is a link to all of the local groups or agencies. The page also shares testimonials of survivors.

Here are some local and national resources for victims in need of help.

YWCA South Hampton Roads in Norfolk

Avalon Center in Williamsburg

  • Phone: 757-258-5022
  • Offers transitional housing, emergency shelter, youth services, legal advice, and counseling.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline: 757- 258-5051

Samaritan House Inc. in Virginia Beach

  • Phone: 757-631-0710
  • Offers counseling, emergency shelter placement, and safety planning.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline 757-430-2120

HER Shelter in Portsmouth

  • Phone: 757-485-1445
  • Offers emergency services, court assistance, shelter, employment, housing assistance.
  • Hotline: 757-485-3384

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233

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