Jenny Adams* came to the emergency shelter at Genesis House to escape a violent domestic violence situation. Her abuser had not only caused emotional trauma, his physical abuse had caused extreme damage to her face and mouth. Jenny moved from the Emergency Shelter into the Lodge, a supportive housing program Genesis House offers to victims to help them regain their independence. She ultimately moved to transitional housing in an apartment offered by Genesis House, and began a new life for herself. Genesis House helped Jenny apply for the Give Back a Smile program, which offers free dental work to victims of domestic violence. Jenny was selected for the program and received a beautiful new smile to go with the new life she built for herself with the help of Genesis House. When reflecting back on her journey as a survivor, Jenny shares her experience working with Genesis House advocates and staff:
How can I possibly thank everyone at Genesis House for guiding me over the rough road I was on and all the help, understanding, and encouragement I received. Thank you so much for always being there for me.
Genesis House is a non-profit organization which provides a range of free and confidential programs and services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. These services include an emergency shelter, a transitional housing program, 24 hour crisis line, court advocacy, weekly support group, individual counseling, goods assistance (food boxes, clothing, etc.), and crisis intervention which may consist of emergency room accompaniment for domestic violence victims and support during forensic rape exams for sexual assault victims. In addition, trained victim advocates maintain a presence in nine Upper Cumberland counties—Putnam, Clay, DeKalb, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Smith, and White. The advocate assigned to Macon County is Donna Poteet, and she may be reached at 931-525-1637. Genesis House also has a Primary Prevention Educator dedicated to providing rape prevention services to the Tennessee Technological University campus.
Genesis House will be displaying purple lights in their office windows throughout the month of October to “shine a light” on domestic violence. The Shine A Light on Domestic Violence campaign encourages the public to raise awareness of the issue by embracing the color purple – the symbolic hue for domestic violence awareness – by lighting purple ribbons in the windows of businesses and homes (available from Genesis House), wearing purple ribbons or sponsoring awareness events. Domestic violence has been traditionally viewed as a private issue, a perspective that encourages victims to suffer in silence and stay in a potentially deadly environment. The Shine A Light on Domestic Violence campaign is an opportunity for the public to show their support for survivors and acknowledge that domestic violence is not a private issue but a problem that affects the entire community. Genesis House would like to invite the community to participate by placing purple ribbons in the windows of homes and businesses throughout the month of October.
Genesis House is also hosting an office open house and candlelight vigil to honor the memory of domestic violence survivors to be held October 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at 13 South Jefferson Avenue on the square. Please join us for this special time to remember and support victims and survivors of domestic violence. If you would like to dedicate a candle in honor of a victim or survivor, we would be happy to designate a candle for you. For more information, or to participate, please contact Natalie Ivey at 931-525-1637.
*The name of the survivor has been changed to protect her identity*