SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Shreveport woman who overcame her own battle with domestic violence is helping others seek refuge and start anew.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So what better way to raise awareness than by opening the doors of a new facility geared toward helping women and children in Shreveport.
S.I.S.T.E.R.S. Restoration Crisis Center (RCC) is trying to do just that; and it's more than just a shelter.
"Your best is yet to come," read Brenda Ashley, executive director.
The empowerment starts as soon as you walk through the door. Encouraging words fill the halls at the crisis center, inspiring women not to give up.
"I'm a survivor. I was a victim of domestic violence," Ashley said.
For the past decade, she has been using her story to help women get out of dangerous situations and back on their feet. It started at her home and now has grown into a facility behind a Shreveport church.
"We can serve over 16 women and children; and then we have a room enough to expand," Ashley explained.
From decorated rooms to a salon and clothing, the crisis center is teaching women life skills while also giving them the tools they need to create a safer life.
"Domestic violence could happen to anyone. It's not about color or race," Ashley said.
"We need to be educated to know what to do. They're everyday people just like I am."
She hopes the community will see the crisis center as more than just a shelter. "It is a crisis center for some and a safe haven for others."
Ashley is awaiting approval from the state fire marshal's office so the crisis center can start housing women and children.
Meantime, Purple Gala: Walking a Mile in Her Shoes is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at Sam's Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport. To learn more about the crisis center, its annual fundraiser and how to help the cause, visit the website scrisiscenter.org.