“Safety first”: Advocates for domestic violence safety highlight the resources offered in the Shoals

One domestic violence awareness group in the Shoals wants you to know there are people who can help you.
Published: Nov. 1, 2023 at 10:36 AM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) -One domestic violence awareness group in the Shoals wants you to know there are people who can help you.

Executive Director of Safeplace Sandra Ells said nothing is more important than helping domestic violence victims. Safeplace is a domestic violence service group that helps victims with rent, relocation, court advocacy and most importantly safety. Ells said although workers from Safeplace have helped thousands of people in the last 43 years, it is the people she can not help that stick with her.

“Those kinds of things break my heart,” Ells said.

She said when she heard about what happened in Sheffield on Sunday she took it hard especially knowing this was not the only incident between the victim and her boyfriend. Ells also said that following those events, it is important for everyone to know what resources they have available to them if they ever need it.

Police said Ashley McClung and her boyfriend Narmore were in an argument Sunday night when he shot and killed her. Officers said her 10-year-old son tried to protect her and was shot in the arm and face.

“And for the son, we hope that he’s able to get help and that the family surrounds him with love,” Ells said.

The Housing director at Safeplace Chonda Reese said everyone there is ready to accept you whenever you are ready. She said around 40 percent of the staff are domestic violence survivors.

“Nothing beats having your safe and secure place. No one person, no one victim, no one family needs the same thing but safeplace is able to fit you in where you are. Educate you. Educate your family and offer you resources.”

Safeplace even provides a service for abusers that is court ordered and lasts 27 weeks. Both Ells and Reese stress that the hardest and most important step is the first one: reaching out for help. They welcome any and all calls. They said even if you are a friend or family member of someone who is in a domestic violence situation, you can call Safeplace as well.

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