DALLAS-- There is no doubt being a single parent is hard. However, being a single dad and a domestic violence victim... now that is a challenge.
Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place says, "Men really feel like no one is going to believe them."
Last year, The Family Place opened a shelter just for men and their kids, the first of its kind in Texas. Before that they were housing male victims of domestic violence in hotels, but that was unrealistic once more men came for help.
"The men aren't using the police as much as the women do," says Flink. "It's hard for them to even think to call the police, because if they call the police and the police come, he might get arrested because they assume the man is the perpetrator. And, so that's the stuff we are working through with our Dallas Police Department."
Flink has learned something new from each family they have helped. Like one little girl who was abandoned by her mom, and her dad wasn't listed on the birth certificate. "Because all he wanted was to be a good dad, but he said, if I leave here and I don't have a birth certificate and I have to sleep in my car with this little girl, they are going think I have done something, because I can't prove she's mine." The Family Place helped him prove he was her father, and get documentation so he could get an apartment without worrying.
Flink says, "We are trying to write the book on how to provide these services, because the men have never been helped like this before."
Each story proves domestic violence doesn't discriminate, and with an open mind, maybe love can conquer all.
Right now there is not a name for the men's shelter. Since they are privately funded, The Family Place is hoping someone will step up to help out. You can donate here, if you want your money to benefit the men's shelter, be sure to specify that on the website.