As more domestic abuse victims come forward, non-profit expands in Rockwall

'Women in Need' marks major milestone with moving day

ROCKWALL - In 2012, Jaclyn England walked out of a nine-year relationship that turned abusive.

She walked out but she didn't walk alone.

"It was a full pure hell of a year that I lived," Jaclyn England said. "I can say, if Women in Need did not exist I don't know where I would have been in a year. They were so helpful to me and my children."

The Rockwall-based non-profit Women in Need has helped women and men leave bad relationships for 13 years. But over these last few years, it's a story they've seen replay more often.

"We did and have seen a significant increase in people coming forward and saying, 'I need help,'" said Connie Pettit.

Five years ago, Pettit says her non-profit was taking in one new client a month. This year, it's closer to one new client a day in Rockwall alone. But Pettitt says those higher numbers aren't as bad as they sound. 

"I don't believe there has been an increase fundamentally," she said. "I believe we've seen an increase because of awareness. People know now that they can go some place, they're going to get services and it will be confidential."

Because of this increase, the non-profit is expanding. Located off Goliad Street in Rockwall, the non-profit offers private counseling services and legal aid to families in need inside a home setting. Along with traditional services, you'll find a boutique that sells high-end women's clothing.

It's open to the public and all the proceeds go back to funding the non-profit.

"I really, really cannot stress to people that need the help that are in that situation that are scared to leave, this is a safe zone; this is a safe place," England said.

They're not paying rent at the new location. The non-profit bought the house and have converted it into a full service counseling center. It's a permanent move into the community they hope lasts for decades to come.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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