Most victims choose to come to a home or a shelter as a last resort. The other options may be jail, detention center, or an eminent death situation. Not much of a choice, right? (Having any type of choice is new to them.) Yet the idea of the unknown to the victim, can still be a difficult and scary choice. Even after they find safety, love, peace- the choice of staying and dealing with pain, hurt and lies they believe can become more and more difficult. The younger they are when trapped into ‘the life’, the harder it is for them. They are emotionally and mentally the same age as when their life was stolen from them.
Operating a comprehensive restorative home is a difficult balance of structure and choices/freedom all wrapped in love, much like parenting. Yet, you cannot make them stay. They are legally old enough to go out on their own, or more accurately, run away.
What is to be allowed? What is detrimental to them? Food choices, what they wear, music selection, movies and books, all have impact on their lives. We will have structure and rules to provide safety to all. We will educate them on the importance of what they put into their bodies and how it effects them physically and mentally. We will educate them what they feed their brains and how it effects them. We will teach them how many of the choices we make can affect others around us. We will teach them that they are valued and worthy of respect. We will lead them to the right choices, but ultimately they will need to learn to make the right choices themselves.
They have just left a world where their voice, their desires were of no consequence. We will not put them into another way of life with no choices. Its easy to come up with a list of Do’s and Dont’s. (When I stayed in a restorative home I came up with a few rules that they didn’t have within the first day! I thought, “they can’t dress like THAT!’, and “they can’t listen to THAT music!”) Sometimes good intentions can be very destructive if not fully thought through. Redeem and Restore Center will be a place of safety to learn to be human (which includes making mistakes), wrapped in love and continued support. It will take patience and time.
When they are ready to leave RRC, we will still have a support system for them. They are still learning to live: make choices and deal with mistakes.
Will you consider partnering with RRC to help lead broken lives to renewed and restored lives? See our website: http://redeemandrestore.org/donate/