The domestic violence shelter on Saipan, Guma Esperanza, expects to see fewer victims returning to the shelter this year compared to previous years.
According to Guma Esperanza shelter supervisor Lisa Ada, the shelter hasn’t been receiving as many returnees as they have before.
A returnee is a domestic violence victim who returns to the Guma Esperanza to seek shelter once again.
“Sometimes we have clients coming back. We call them returnees. But so far it’s not really happening that much,” Ada said.
This could be an indication that shelterees have been working out their problems with their partners at home. Ada believes the reason for the improved numbers is that victims are trying their best to mend their familial relationships that caused them to enter the shelter in the first place.
“Families have been working out their relationships…with their children and their spouse, and that’s a good indication,” said Ada.
Some of these women could have also gone on their own, to start a life for themselves outside the shelter. “They may be going on their own, like they moved on with their lives,” she said.
The shelter’s location is kept secret and is highly confidential to ensure the safety of the victims seeking shelter there. Guma Esperanza is under Karidat Social Services.
When asked how many are currently at the shelter, Ada said the number of shelterees is made confidential too.
The shelter also works with the Community Guidance Center, Department of Public Safety, and other organizations to assist victims of domestic violence.
The Guma Esparanza was established on September 2001.
There are no qualifications to stay in the shelter. It is open for all victims of domestic violence, regardless if they are residents or nonresidents.
A 24-hour hotline is also available for victims in need of assistance. Volunteers from different organizations are on hand to provide information about the shelter and to guide victims through counseling.
The 24-hour hotline is 234-5100. For shelter assistance call 664-4583.