Listen to this story
A Virginia-based nonprofit is helping give back to the community by providing support for women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse.
Known as “The Tribe Circle,” the nonprofit works to erase any barriers that prevent victims of sexual, physical or mental abuse from getting the help they need. Through representatives and counselors like the Personal Protection Specialists, the Tribe Circle helps get anyone who asks for aid out of an abusive household and provides them with multiple programs.
Along with a tracker for people to keep track of abusive incidents and protection in the form of housing, the nonprofit offers child care, advocates as well as loans and grants to victims. The Tribe Circle also offers higher education at The Tribe Circle University, a special educational space for women and children.
Guiding the nonprofit are concepts like Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and The Tribe Circle Protection, Advocacy and Education (PAE) Model that revolve around determining the needs of those who seek help.
“It’s about meeting a survivor where they’re at,” said Executive Director Kevin Gary to The Hub News. “If a survivor is at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy, that’s where we begin with offering safe shelter, water, and food. This part of Maslow’s Hierarchy runs with the protection of our PAE model and it just goes up the Maslow’s pyramid from there.”
Also the founder of the nonprofit, Gary began The Tribe Circle in February because of his memories of his childhood witnessing his mother suffering from abuse at the hands of his stepfather and his faith in God.
“My pastor said something that stuck with me. He said, ‘Sometimes the very thing you’re in opposition with is your purpose,’” said Gary. “I had a dream that night, of a scene that played in my head a lot as a child. I saw my mother fall in between the bed and filing cabinet during a fight with my stepfather.”
“I was awakened by a woman screaming outside my window that early morning. I eventually got back to sleep and when I woke to start my day the download happened. I needed to start this nonprofit to help women and children,” he added.
Domestic violence continues to be a big issue in the U.S. According to information by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women- roughly about 24.3%- and one in seven men- roughly 13.8%- have been victims of severe domestic violence inflicted by someone they cared for. 48.4% of women also report that they’ve been victims of mental abuse from their partners.
In general, Black women are victims of physical violence at higher rates than any other group. According to a report by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 45.1% of Black women are abused compared to 37.3% of white women. Black women are also the most at risk out of anyone else with them having an increased risk of 2.5 times more likely to pass away at the hands of the person abusing them.
“The journey building up the nonprofit has been challenging, but we won’t back down from this fight,” said Gary. “Our programming is robust, and our plan is to have everything these survivors need under one roof.”