• By Kirk Gaw

Unmasking Abuse In Walkerton Empowering Women Where To Go

Searching for a safe place while experiencing an abusive relationship in Walkerton can be scary. There is little women and, children can do to escape domestic violence, and abuse outside of calling the Walkerton Police Emergency.


A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.

At any hotline provided we "safety plan" with victims, friends and family members — anyone who is concerned about their own safety or the safety of someone else.

A good safety plan will have all of the vital information you need and be tailored to your unique situation, and will help walk you through different scenarios.

Although some of the things that you outline in your safety plan may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that in moments of crisis your brain doesn’t function the same way as when you are calm.

When adrenaline is pumping through your veins it can be hard to think clearly or make logical decisions about your safety. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help you to protect yourself in those stressful moments.

When in crisis call 9-1-1 services or Walkerton Police Dispatch at 586-3511. If you are unable to speak or cannot remember that 7-digit WPD Dispatch number in an emergency, you should always dial 9-1-1.

So, where do you go when you need counseling and, or shelter and, are a resident of the Walkerton tri-county area?

Within the town limits of Walkerton, unfortunately, at this time, no shelter or counseling center exists. Planners and leaders are working on that. Should you need to get in touch immediately, the nearest spot is in Plymouth 10 miles away at "Heminger House."

They are located at at Jefferson & Michigan St. in downtown Plymouth. They provide crisis support to help individuals and families in need. They will even pick up victims by car in times of need.

Heminger House of Marshall County, Plymouth

At Heminger House it is their long-term mission to break the cycle of violence and, poverty by providing a caring, healing, and educational service for victims of abuse.

That includes to save others with emergency housing and, related programs. It is their intent to prepare victims, and their families so, that they can learn to make independent, productive choices. The Heminger House advocates assist you with living independently in a healthy, positive, and safe environment.

It was in 2001, when Turning Point Housing, Inc. began restoring the Heminger House Travel Lodge, a 1937 historic home. Their intention is to provide a safe shelter for victims of domestic violence. On Sept. 11, 2008, Heminger House Shelter Opened its doors and welcomed its first resident.

Their services are free of charge. In addition, confidential. Their first concern is to respond to a victim of violence and provide her or him with Safe emergency housing and basic needs.

Secondly, they offer the unique E.S.C.A.P.E. program -Education, Support, Counsel, Advice, Protection & Empowerment- With the end goal being a long-term solution for each family. Violence and sexual assault is very real for some people. More than we know?

By offering local resources and making individual referrals to local, state and federal agencies, Heminger House helps victims establish independent, safe, and healthy lives through case management and crisis counseling. You can look them up at: or phone: (574) 936-7233

Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County, South Bend

Thinking About Leaving an Abusive Relationship? You don’t have to go it alone. The "Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County" exists to help. They bring the services you need under one roof, so you can get help with a range of issues—safety, legal, employment, education and much more—with just a single stop. They are a resource for local people like you, who are, or could become, victims of domestic abuse. Their services are free and available to survivors regardless of religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or ethnicity.

Ready to take the next step? Call us at (574) 234-6900, or go to: for more information about who we are, and how we can help you.

We create survivors, and you can become a survivor, too. Located at 533 N. Niles Ave., South Bend.

Stepping Stone Women's Shelter, LaPorte County

Abuse is never acceptable and, never your fault! You can regain power and control over your life. Stepping Stone is here to assist you on that journey.

Since 1983 we have been the sole provider of 24/7 crisis intervention and, recovery support services for individuals in La Porte County.

We help those being victimized by domestic abuse, dating violence, and/or sexual abuse.

Providing those who are victims of domestic violence, services including 24/7 crisis lines & intervention, temporary shelter, clothing & food, transitional housing, counseling, support groups, and advocacy.

The members of The Stepping Stone Shelter for Women mission begins with the alert to the problems of domestic violence existing at all socioeconomic levels in American society. It perpetuates itself from generation to generation. To associate oneself to work toward its elimination is in particular, an offer to seek refuge and services for its victims in our area.

In an Emergency:

-Call 911 - go to a safe spot or the neighbor's and call the police.

-Stay away from the kitchen, garage/any rooms that contain 'weapons' and small spaces.

-If police come, explain what has occurred and write down the officer's badge

number and name.

-Take pictures of all injuries and damages. Protect Yourself at Home.

-Get help by calling 911 or Stepping Stone's confidential 24-hour abuse hotline (866) 879-4615.

-Change locks on your doors and install locks on your windows; screen phone calls.

-Plan an escape route from your home and teach it to your children; know where you will go to escape (consider Stepping Stone's Shelter).

-Have neighbors call the police when they see the abuser at your home develop a signal to alert them to danger (flipping on a porch light, etc.).

-Take a self-defense course and carry a noisemaker or personal alarm.

The Stepping Stone Shelter for Women, Inc. attempts to respond constructively to the victims of domestic violence and to assist them in living within the community without violence.

It is the philosophy of "The Stepping Stone Shelter for Women, Inc." that family violence is a complex and serious problem, not only to the individual family involved, but also for the community.

We view the problem as cyclical in nature; the solution requiring that the intervention process be one of education and, understanding by each mate as to why the family, as a unit, is in trouble.

Please find them at:

or phone: (866) 879-4615

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