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Breaking the Cycle: Local moving company helps domestic violence victims start over

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- When it comes to homicides in Shelby County, one fact that often gets overlooked if how many are due to domestic violence.

According to the Family Safety Center 32 women were killed in a domestic violence incident in Memphis or Shelby County last year and one in five women is a victim.

Many of these victims have one common denominator. They need help getting away from their abuser.

However one Mid-South company is trying to break the cycle.

There’s no way around it, moving is stressful.

Then on top of relocating your belongings, you’re uprooting your life, your children's and leaving the person you thought you’d be with forever.

WREG sat down with one domestic violence survivor.

"Our situation at home it was just too volatile. I couldn’t live like that. I didn’t want my children to live like that," she said.

She agreed to speak with us but did not reveal her identity for safety reasons.

"I’ve known him since we were kids in school, we had two children together.  It was heartbreaking to watch things fall apart. He began using drugs and I say the drugs stole him from me," she explained.

This survivor decided it was time to act.

"As a woman sometimes you take it for yourself. It’s when you start seeing how it’s affecting your children. I think that’s you know I think what pushed me to say enough is enough.”

She enlisted the help of Amanda’s Way, a Mid-South based non-profit that helps those in volatile relationships escape and start fresh. Seeing the need, Amanda’s Way partnered with Absolute Moving Services.

"I thought it was a no brainer. It’s something I always wanted to get involved in with the company to be able to be a voice of hope," said owner Philip McLendon.

McLendon’s company works with Amandas Way and law enforcement to coordinate a safe time to move belongings for free when the abuser won’t be home.

"So far we’ve rescued four women and we’ve been able to relocate their belongings, we’ve been doing it for about four or five months now. We’ve just started and it’s already taken off," he explained.

"You’ve got so much goin on in your mind and you’re so worried, how am I going to do this? How am I going to do this? And they’re like just breathe. We’re here to help you and we’ll get through this and go through this with you," said the survivor.

"It really is a stress reliever for our survivors," explained Andrea Hopkins, founder of Amanda's Way.

McLendon says helping someone turn a new leaf is rewarding. He’s encouraging others to not settle for the status quo.

"I challenge every business owner or even if you’re not a business, every individual to try and take a stand.”

For this survivor, who Absolute Moving helped, if you’re being abused she wants you to take a stand as well.

"A lot of girls get scared and go back because of the fear of the unknown and the future and how am I going to do it? Is what’s scary but when you find someone who is willing to go through it with you, it gives you the courage to go through it and keep pressing on even through the hard times.”

Absolute Moving isn’t the only company providing these services. We’ve been told of others that help in times of need as well.

For those escaping a volatile relationship you can reach Amanda’s Way at (901) 235-1900 or the Family Safety Center at (901) 222-4400.