Making Change Possible By Understanding That Domestic Violence Is Not A Private Matter.
Home Free opened in 1980 providing battered women with immediate safety and the opportunity to explore alternatives to living with a violent partner. Emergency housing, advocacy and support services are available at the shelter for up to 30 women and their children. Women's and children's advocates provide information and resources, supporting the decisions each woman makes and providing specific programming for children. Advocacy and support services are available to women living in the community through the Home Free Community Program.
For more information, speak with an advocate at 763.559.9008, or call the 24-hour crisis line at 763.559.4945.
Home Free Shelter
Home Free is a safe haven for women and children who have needed to flee their homes due to domestic violence. The Shelter provides emergency housing and support services to over 500 women and children each year. Usually filled to capacity, the Shelter can accommodate 30 women and children with an average length of stay of 18 days. Services are provided free of charge to all residents.
Women's Advocates work with battered women as they identify needs, set goals, and access services. Advocates assist women in obtaining legal remedies, housing, financial resources, medical care, and transportation and accompaniment to appointments as needed. Home Free also offers a number of education and support groups as well as social and recreational opportunities.
The Home Free children's program assists women with children to identify and meet each child's needs. The children's advocates work with children individually and in groups to help them develop age-appropriate knowledge and skills related to domestic violence. Childcare, groups, activities and one-on-one assistance is provided to Shelter children, including weekend groups and activities. Children's Advocates also assist mothers with placement of children in local schools.
Home Free Community Program
The Home Free Community Program is an immediate source of safety and support for battered women and their children. Working out of a storefront office in Plymouth, the Community Program serves residents of Northwest Hennepin County, providing direct legal advocacy services to over 1,200 victims of domestic violence each year. The Intervention Project operates in Plymouth, New Hope, and Golden Valley. Home Free also provides basic services to victims in other municipalities, including Corcoran, Champlin, Rogers, Dayton, Osseo, Greenfield, Hanover, Hassan, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, and Medina. All services are free of charge.
The Community Program's Domestic Assault Intervention Project provides a community-wide response to domestic violence through coordination of law enforcement, criminal justice and social service systems. Services include 24-hour phone response - providing immediate safety and support to victims following an assault, monitoring of police responses, tracking of cases through the court system, systems advocacy, and training of law enforcement, prosecutors and court personnel. Advocates provide battered women with individual advocacy and support, information and referral, access to civil and criminal remedies through the court system, transportation, and education and support groups with free childcare available.
In addition to its direct services to victims of domestic violence, Home Free provides community education services. Staff members and trained volunteers speak about the dynamics of domestic violence and distribute information at community events, schools, and places of work and worship. Through its community education efforts, Home Free seeks to increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of domestic violence, which helps to prevent domestic assault and contribute to a community where everyone can live safely. For more information about community education or to schedule a speaker for your group, please call Kari Hitchcock at 763.559.9008.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is abusing you, and you need immediate help, please call 911 or our 24-hour crisis line 763.559.4945
What is Battering?
Battering is more than physical violence. It is a pattern of behaviors that gets worse over time. These behaviors are used to gain and maintain power and control over another person. In addition to the use of physical violence, battering involves isolation, intimidation, emotional abuse and more.
You may be in a battering relationship if you:
- Have ever been threatened, hit, kicked, shoved, or had things thrown at you by your partner.
- Need your partner's permission before buying food or clothing, writing checks, or making other daily decisions.
- Often go along with plans you don't like because you're afraid of your partner's anger.
- Are often accused by your partner of things you've never done.
- Make choices about activities and friends according to how your partner will react.
- Feel you have no choice about what you wear, what you say, who you spend time with or where you go.
What should I do if I am in an abusive relationship?
Only you know what is best for you. You can call the police if you have been assaulted, or you can call our 24-hour crisis line, 763.559.4945. Home Free advocates are available to listen to your concerns and offer information on domestic violence, options, and resources. We support the decisions that you make and work with you to meet your goals.
What should I do if I know someone who is in a battering relationship?
- Listen to her and believe her.
- Help her get medical attention if she needs it.
- Let her know she is not alone and that she does not deserve to be battered.
- Let her make her own decisions. Only she knows what is best for herself.
- Let her know she has options and encourage her to call Home Free or a battered women's program near her.
Click on the links below for more information on battering and domestic violence
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
- Family Violence Prevention Fund
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
To view the Home Free newsletter, published three times each year, please visit our Publications page
For a current list of our in-kind donation needs, or to see our 2014 Holiday Wish List, please visit our In-Kind Donations page