Survivor describes how shelter helped save her

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CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Mo. Here's an update on the status of the only domestic violence shelter in Christian County. A former executive director of Freedom’s Rest told KSPR News that the shelter would close, but now it appears it will stay open.

Many people at Freedom’s Rest are relieved to hear the shelter is here to stay.

"It was December 24; I had a woman, a friend, they invited me over for Christmas dinner. She drugged me, so her boyfriend could rape me," said Jane.

Out of safety for this woman, we're calling her Jane (not her real name).

"She was telling him to hurry up," Jane said.

This is the second time that she has ever told how she was brutally attacked by multiple men.

"I kept coming to, and I was screaming her name for her to come help me, not realizing the whole time she was in the room and they were laughing," Jane said.

Her life fell apart.

"No one prepares you for something like that. I was in nursing school. This wasn't supposed to happen," Jane continued. "There isn't a class you can take that is going to tell you what you're going to feel. What you're going to lose, how much you're going to lose, and you're not going to care whether you get it back or not."

After bouncing from shelter to shelter, she ended up at Freedom's Rest… only to have the former Executive Director decide to close the shelter.

"This place has become my family," said Jane.

Kathryn Phillips is also a survivor and works at Freedom’s Rest. She had to tell Jane and other women the then acting Executive Director was closing the shelter.

"It was awful. I honestly felt like somebody had punched me in the gut," said Director of Case Management, Kathryn Phillips.

She said she had to tell them they had a couple of weeks to find a place to live.

"So many people had trusted you to keep them safe and now you're tearing them up – I am so sorry," said Phillips.

"I didn't have any kind of support. I didn't have anyone I could go to. I was so ashamed, humiliated," Jane stated.

Now they have a new Executive Director and generous donors who are making improvements like secure doors for each room with keypads.

This is their message to Jane and you.

"We're here. We're not going anywhere," Phillips said.

Jane is relieved.

"They took me in, they sheltered me, they've kept me safe, they've loved me," Jane stated.

They will still be here to help her and others recover.

"I hope other women will be helped by me saying my story because it's horrible. It was horrible," Jane finished.

So what is causing a lot of this domestic violence? Freedom’s Rest employees said it is meth.

So you know, the Executive Director at Freedom's Rest is not allowed to decide on his or her own to close the shelter.