LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A new partnership between the New Horizons domestic violence shelter in La Crosse and a local moving company is making it easier for victims of domestic violence to escape from dangerous situations.
Coulee Region Moving Services will now help domestic violence survivors move to a new home free of charge.
When Colin Luz and his moving company saw firsthand what it's like for a domestic violence victim to have to move, they knew they had to help.
"We started getting some calls a few years ago, and we had done a few of these moves where I would get these calls from these women and they sounded kind of frantic," said Luz. "Like they needed to get out of something fairly quickly so I tried to set something up for them. After doing it a couple times I kind of caught on to why we were there."
He decided to help survivors of domestic violence after learning that leaving an abuser can be both unsafe and unaffordable.
"Oftentimes the perpetrators have access to the bank accounts, so then it's trying to stash money around the house, which that just amps up the safety issue immensely, because if that money's found, they're going to know that they're thinking about leaving and leaving is always the most dangerous times for our victims," said Kim Jones, Transitional Housing Advocate for New Horizons.
Now, New Horizons staff will refer the survivors they help to the moving company.
Luz and his team are finding that the problem is more prevalent than they thought, getting a call about once a week for this kind of situation.
In the last couple months, Coulee Region Moving Services has already helped about a dozen survivors and their families move out of unsafe situations.
They've also started donating furniture to families to help alleviate the cost of furnishing a home from scratch.
For Luz, it's a simple gesture from his company, but he says it makes a big difference for the survivors.
"It can almost be embarrassing for them to ask friends or family for help so I think by us offering this it's just a way to reach out to someone that otherwise probably wouldn't have helped and I think it's making a difference," said Luz.
You can help New Horizons and Coulee Region Moving Services by donating used furniture or clothing and toiletries to be passed on to domestic violence survivors.