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Sherrie Schwab of Domestic Abuse Shelter to be Featured on CUTV News Radio

MARATHON SHORES, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, June 26, 2018 / -- You can't love someone and control them at the same time, yet one in four women over the course of their lifetime will report being a victim of domestic violence.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before she leaves for good. Sometimes it’s for financial reasons. Sometimes they believe their partner when they say they're going to change. Sometimes it's for the children. Sometimes it’s out of pure fear. Leaving is one of the most dangerous times for a victim. When the batterer has lost control of the situation, they accelerate their efforts to regain control.

Sherrie Schwab is the Executive Director of Domestic Abuse Shelter in Monroe County, Florida in the Florida Keys.

“Our policy is to support them no matter what,” says Schwab. “We’re not going to shame you or say that's what you get for going back. We’re going to say, ‘Come on in and let's see what we can do this time.’ It's important for them to know that there's somebody they can call when things go bad. And all you can do is talk to them about safety, explore options with them, and that's where empowerment comes in.”

A licensed mental health counselor, Schwab is quick to note that she is a survivor of domestic violence herself.

“It was verbally abusive for a number of years,” recalls Schwab. “About five years in it got physically abusive and I ended up in intensive care. I went back because it was suggested by the priest that gave me last rites the night before that was what I should do. I told myself if it ever happened again I would leave. A year and a half later it happened again.

“There was an argument about where I had been and what I had been doing before I came to meet him. We were in a restaurant and he flipped the table upside-down. a young woman called the police and took me back in the kitchen. She said, ‘You don't have to live like this anymore.’ It really blew me away, because I didn't know. I really didn't.

“I made a decision to marry a person for the rest of my life. It's hard to let go of that dream, that plan, that goal,” says Schwab. “They say “Til death do us part,” but I didn't really realize at the time the death might have been mine.”

According to Schwab, people aren’t born batterers; abusive behaviors are learned.

“Someone who is abusive in their intimate partner relationships typically does not have problems with anger,” explains Schwab. “They don't have problems in the work place, they don't have problems with their peers. It is strictly in their intimate partner relationships. It is not an out-of-control situation, otherwise every victim who was ever hit by a perpetrator would be killed. But they always seem stop short of killing someone. They leave bruises where others can't see them. So they're not broken individuals. They may have injured pasts as well, but it's not the cause of their abuse.”

When they call the hotline, advocates determine if they meet the criteria for the shelter or other services, which is simply that they think they're a victim of domestic violence. Once they arrive at the shelter, if that is what they want, we do a little crisis counseling with them.

“We tell them they’re not alone and we are there to help and support them. And so we have those conversations with them. We find out if there's anything they need. We orient them to the shelter. We talk about the services that we provide. We do a little assessment with the kids if there are any to see if they're OK. We give food if they're hungry. We safety plan with them.

“It’s not just about stopping domestic violence,” says Schwab. “It's really about social change and creating a society that oppresses no one.”

CUTV News Radio will feature Sherrie Schwab in an interview with Jim Masters on June 28th at 1pm EDT.

Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio.

If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.

For more information on Sherrie Schwab, visit

Lou Ceparano
(631) 850-3314
email us here