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Dec-26-2008 21:35printcomments

Battered Mothers Nationwide Lifeline at Risk of Ending

Volunteers are urging concerned citizens to visit the Website and make a donation to keep the Hotline available and working during this critical time of year. logo

(COLUMBIA, Mo.) - After rescuing over 6,000 battered women and their children over past two years, the Battered Mothers Hotline is now in danger of shutting down.

Illness never chooses a convenient time to rear its ugly head – and this time it could herald the end of a service that’s helped over 6,000 battered women across the U.S. escape life-threatening abuse: The Battered Mothers Resource Fund Hotline.

This Hotline is unusual because it connects battered women with those shelters that take both women and their children. Most shelters do not accept children, so mothers who fear for their children's lives as well as their own simply don't leave. They stay with their abuser in hopes of protecting the kids.

Phillip Baney couldn't stand thinking about that, so in 2004 he gathered a small group of volunteers, started the Battered Mother's Resource Fund, and established it as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Working diligently, Phillip and his volunteers created a database of shelters across the U.S. that accept moms with their children.

Since these locations change, maintaining that database is an ongoing effort.

In the past two years alone, over 6,000 women—with their kids in tow—have found a safe haven where they could start over and rebuild their lives without fear, all because help was only a phone call away.

But now our nation’s current economic crisis has caused donations to nearly dry up. In response, BMRF Director Phillip Baney simply started paying the bills himself.

That was working - until the day he had a heart attack, followed by open-heart surgery. Other complications have now put him out of the work force permanently. Since August, only Phillip’s savings have kept the Hotline alive. But with no wages coming in, his savings are now gone too.

BMRF volunteer Marte Cliff says, "Every day in this country, ten women die at the hands of their abusers. And in 70 percent of homes where the woman is abused, the children are also abused. That's why keeping this hotline in operation is so crucial – Mothers simply won't leave when they have to leave their children with an abuser."

The holiday season often brings out the worst in abusive personalities, so volunteers are urging concerned citizens to visit the Battered Mothers Resource Fund website and make a donation to keep the Hotline available and working during this critical time of year.

The site,, also offers statistics and articles about domestic abuse, including safety tips.

Marte Cliff adds: "Most of us would prefer not to think about abuse and its victims, but abused women and children reside in every community – and in families of all economic levels. Rich or poor, they urgently need our help."

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