JJ SafeHouse Plans
Our two-fold mission:
1. Provide emergency shelter in hotels for families seeking safety from domestic violence.
2. Provide long-term rehabilitation for victims of domestic violence helping them establish independence and become contributing members of the community.
Two years ago, Jennifer Panczyszyn set forth on her goal to build a shelter to give Fulton County families a chance for safety and a fresh start. Once removed from the violent environment, the families are able to begin working with The Fulton County Sheriff and other agencies to get counseling, training and coaching. “The safe house is a missing piece in the puzzle to help more people in Fulton County,” says Panczyszyn. The outpouring of support has helped move the launch of the rehabilitation facility up three years to 2017. Eventually JJ SafeHouse hopes to have three safehouses in Fulton County: Archbold, Delta/Swanton and Wauseon.
The shelters will house 2-3 women and their children through rehabilitation. This long-term strategy will allow the best odds for the families to successfully break the cycle of violence. When they move out of the safe house to begin their new lives they will be self-sufficient.
FULTON COUNTY spans more than 400 square miles and includes the towns of Archbold, Delta, Assumption, Fulton Township, Fayette, Lyons, Metamora, Swanton, Pettisville and Wauseon Ohio. In 2015, the county had 362 calls to 911 for domestic violence, but has no facility to house these battered women and their children.
In The News
JANETTE WEINSTEIN, VICE-PRESIDENT
Breaking the Cycle
When the deputy showed up at Anna’s door following a call by a concerned neighbor in October of 2016, Anna was certain she knew how her night would go. Before moving to Fulton County she and her husband had lived in another state and each time her husband assaulted her, the pattern of events remained the same. The police would document her injuries, make a report, and ask her if she had a safe place to go until they could locate her husband. She would tell them that she did, even though the truth was she did not. Over the course of their 11-year marriage her husband had slowly isolated her from any contact with her sister (her only living relative) who lived in another country, and from the few friends she was able to make since moving to the area. Once the officer left Anna and her three children (8, 6, and 2) would get in the car and find some place to park and wait until her husband was either arrested or his drug fueled rage had abated. She and the children would then return to the only place they had to go and pray that it wouldn’t happen again; all the while knowing that it would.
When the deputy finished his report, he called the victim’s advocate on her behalf and told Anna that it wasn’t safe for her to remain at the residence since her husband might return. He told her the advocate would make sure she and the children had a safe place to go. The deputy remained with her until the advocate arrived.
While speaking with the advocate Anna learned that there was a program provided by JJ SafeHouse that would provide emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence. Anna and her three children spent a few nights in emergency shelter and then moved into a local woman’s shelter when space became available.
Anna and her children spent three months at the shelter and during that time she was able to complete some training to update a lapsed licensure and obtain employment. She and her children have since moved into their own residence in Fulton County and are doing well.
Due to previous convictions for domestic violence and the severity of the assault on Anna, her husband received a lengthy prison term for the incident that occurred that night and he remains incarcerated.
There were no openings at any of the local shelters the evening the incident occurred, and Anna told the advocate that were it not for the emergency shelter services she received she would have had no choice but to return to her abusive home. Anna credits having a safe place to go that night as the thing that allowed her to break the cycle of abuse and begin to build a new life for herself and her children.
“Domestic violence is a very difficult cycle to break. Children victims believe it’s the norm, and it’s okay to hit someone. Until they can see a different way of life then the abuse cycle continues. My goal in all of this is, if I can help one child break that cycle, then we’ve done our job.”
JENNIFER PANCZYSZYN, PRESIDENT
JEANETTE WEINSTEIN, VICE PRESIDENT
IN THE NEWS
Recent Articles about JJ SafeHouse, Domestic Violence and related to our cause to stop domestic violence.
Domestic violence shelter planned for Wauseon - 12/12/2016 Fulton County Expositor
Give Them A Shelter - 11/16/2016 Toledo Blade Editorial
Fulton County to Get Women’s Shelter - 11/12/2016 Toledo Blade story