Defy Domestic Abuse Beloit is a community-based domestic violence advocacy center.
(We know, we know, that’s a mouthful. So, let’s break it down.)
We serve the community of Beloit, Wisconsin. In the coalition against domestic abuse, each organization focuses on a specific area. Some organizations focus on the national level, like the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.
Others center on specific non-regional communities like 1in6 for male domestic abuse survivors and UNIDOS for latina domestic abuse survivors.
And then there’s organizations who serve specific regional communities like End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and us, Defy Domestic Abuse Beloit.
We design every aspect of our organization, from our name to our services, to further our mission:
the inherent dignity of all people
safety and dignity to all those affected by domestic abuse and violence
the personal, communal, and cultural catalysts of domestic abuse and violence.
To achieve this mission, we take a holistic approach when creating and providing services. Yes, we provide emergency housing. Yes, we have our own shelter. But we are far more than just a shelter.
Gaining safety is the vital first step in defying domestic abuse, but it is only the first step. Without an extensive network of services, such as financial planning; parenting support; therapy and counseling; legal advocacy; and community outreach, domestic abuse may be interrupted for a time in a person’s life but it will never be dismantled.
But at Defy Domestic Abuse Beloit, we offer all of those services and more. Further, we are part of Family Services of Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Family Services is constellation of community programs such as Youth2Youth 4 Change, PRAXIS EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, and The Neighborhood Project.
By being a part of Family Services, we extend to survivors of domestic abuse all of what we do and all of the support from each of one of Family Services programs.
To learn more about how we can help you and those you care about, go here.
To achieve our mission, all of our services are empowerment-based, which means you lead and we support.
Instead of us saying what your goals should or shouldn’t be, we sit down with you, listen, ask questions, and follow your direction to create personalized goals - goals to achieve what you really want out of life.
To do this, we provide you with your own Personal Advocate. No matter if you use just one of our services or if you use all of them, all of our clients are provided with their own Personal Advocate. Your Personal Advocate works one-on-one with you to create your personalized goals, to craft your personalized strategy to achieve those goals, and to stand alongside you as you put that strategy to action.
Learn more about our Personal Advocate service here.
In 1986, our program was established by The Salvation Army and named Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor’s Center (BDVSC).
We started as a volunteer-based housing program. Back then, we were only able to provide short-term emergency housing to domestic abuse survivors. This housing was provided by a network of volunteers who opened their homes to help dv survivors. Soon, our program grew and purchased its own permanent emergency housing shelter.
Then, in 1996, we moved from The Salvation Army and joined Family Services. With Family Services added resources, we were able to meet more and more of the need in our community of Beloit, Wisconsin; and in 2001, we purchased our current shelter building from Mercy Health System.
At this time, our program still focused on providing emergency housing to domestic abuse survivors. Then, as we continued to grow, in 2016, we expanded our focus and services to provide case management, legal advocacy, and a hotline for survivors of DV.
From 2016 to now, we have diligently worked to achieve our mission and have added new services after new services after new services.
And in October 2020, we transitioned from the name Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor’s Center to Defy Domestic Abuse Beloit.
A stable foundation allows you to build, to create, to design and dream.
A stable foundation allows you to be safe, to rest and renew regardless of what storms, fears, failures, rejections, or hardships the outside world throws at you.
Imagine what you can accomplish when you hold a safe, strong, and stable inner and outer world, when you hold a stable foundation.
But what happens when you hold a shattered foundation?
Abuse and violence destroy foundations. They destabilize and steal away all of your potential and shatter your internal and external world into chaos.
Then, with your foundation broken and in a heap, others build their dreams on top of you. They choose your life for you and trap you underneath their decisions. They wall you off from the east and the west.
If you do feel ruble under your feet, we promise: there is still hope. We promise anything broken can be put back together again.All you need is some help.
See, to restore a foundation, you need a team and resources, and that's where we come in.
We provide the helping hands to pull you out of the rumble; and supply the forces needed to restore your safety, your dignity, your potential, and your freedom.
And, every human being (including you) deserves freedom; deserves safety and peace; deserves stability; deserves a firm foundation.
Yet, these destabilizing forces - abuse and violence - form an axis of evil; and threaten every person, home, community, state, and nation. They threaten to create a total rolling landscape of ruble, of shattered homes and broken dreams.
But - together, we can win.
Together, we will survive, rebuild, and regain ground, stable ground, ground cultivated and rich where our potential and our freedom will reach down to bedrock and then build up and up and up. Together, we can build new foundations.
Together, we can grow from -
heart-struck to heart-strong.
- for immediate help during a crisis
- for answers to any of your questions
- for someone to talk to even when you feel you can't talk to anyone