Aware Central Texas conducts informational sessions on Monday that are designed for women who have been physically, mentally or sexually abused.
The first session in the series, titled Women, Inspiring and Networking for Growth and Strength, focused on available resources and how to empower women.
“(The class) allows for the women to have kind of a support group,” said Harriet H. Brodie, director of development at Aware Central Texas, a nonprofit committed to the prevention of abuse/neglect and family violence to safeguard families through education, encouragement and mentorship. “It’s really a matter of giving them some knowledge that will empower them to forgive and get on with their lives.”
This particular class is for people who have been abused, Brodie said. It’s a subject that’s very personal and sometimes it’s difficult to share your experience of abuse with people who have not gone through it.
The classes are closed off and for women only.
“It’s meant to be a safe environment,” she said. “As soon as people arrive, we actually close and lock all the doors so they feel safe here.”
Although October is National Domestic Awareness Month, Brodie emphasized the nonprofit is committed to helping children and women break the cycle of abuse year-round.
“This particular topic is not going away,” she said. “It’s increasing and we want people to know that this is available and they can get help.”
Next Monday’s class will focus on dealing with police and the courts. The class on Oct. 22 will focus on children and family violence, and the last session on Oct. 29 will focus on what women can do now to become strong.
Brodie said she hopes to repeat the four-part classes monthly.
“We would like for people to realize that just because something’s happened to us, it doesn’t define who we are and we can get beyond it,” she said.