PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ACT Opening New Location in LaBelle

anthony kelly via Flickr

Abuse Counseling and Treatment, or ACT, is opening a new shelter in LaBelle on Saturday. After eight years without a shelter in Hendry County, ACT has purchased a new building in Labelle thanks to a grant.

ACT receives calls to its crisis hotline from victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Hendry County every day. Last year it served 154 women and children from Hendry County through its outreach department.

The new LaBelle shelter will have 16 beds and offer women and children services such as individual and group counseling, domestic violence educational classes and life skill classes. 

CEO Jennifer Benton said almost 50 percent of the population in Hendry County is Hispanic.

She said within the Hispanic community, cultural differences and upbringing sway women to stay in a relationship even if it becomes clearly abusive.

“Within the Hispanic community, it is a lot different than it is in the other communities,” said Benton.

“Many of them are taught that they don’t leave a relationship that they stay in that relationship no matter what. A lot of women are told that they’ll lose their kids, so there’s a lot of fear there.”

She said immigrant women are frequently told they will be deported if they seek any kind of help.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence or abuse can remain anonymous and contact ACT’s 24-hour crisis hotline and speak with a counselor to go over their options.

Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. 24-Hour Hotline: 239-939-3112

Email: act@actabuse.com