I just got the most disturbing pictures today from my friend, Designer Jill Sorensen, who is also the founder of the charity Knock Out Abuse, which benefits victims of domestic violence. She visited a shelter for abused women and children last week and saw the conditions in which they must live:
“I was completely HORRIFIED by the conditions these women and children lived in. I’m tormented about it and just have to help them,” Jill wrote to me in an e-mail.
Pictures of this shelter bring back memories of when I was a news reporter in Florida years ago, and I reported and wrote a special section in the paper about domestic violence. I spent time with women in a shelter, and sadly, they are all similar. The wonderful organizers at these places give all that they can to help these people escape violence at home, but unfortunately, there typically isn’t anything left for decor.
This is the result:
If there is anyone out there willing to donate design advice or — better yet — furniture, Jill is taking names. Many of us know the power that interior design can have on one’s psyche: if your home is calm, collected, and pleasing, so will be your mood and outlook.
The opposite is also true with these types of surroundings:
The most urgent need at this point, Jill says, is furniture. “A bunk bed!” she writes, or an 8×10 rug, bedside chests, and dressers.
Huge praise goes out to Vastu in DC, which has already agreed to donate a bunch of stuff. One woman who saw Jill’s appeal on Facebook is also donating quilts.
Is there a designer out there who wants to design a room?
I know that together, we can make this shelter into a beautiful, therapeutic space. I can’t wait to document the progress.
If anyone wants to help, call Ellen at Knock Out Abuse: 202.725.5604. Thank you!