Upgrades completed at the Center for Women and Families - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Upgrades completed at the Center for Women and Families

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There is now an extra layer of protection available for victims of domestic violence, and its comes in the way of a massive, $6 million upgrade at the Center for Women and Families.

The upgrades will give clients more comfort, more space and most importantly, more safety.

Feb. 22, 2010 is a date that Linda Keown will never forget, but not because it's special.

"My ex almost killed me that night," she said.

Several years ago, she came to The Center for Women and Families to escape years of abuse.

"My voice is different from where he choked me so bad, Keown said. "He messed some vocal cords up. Thank goodness when he fired the gun, he missed."

The bullet missed, but Keown got the message and the refuge she needed at the Center for Women and Families.

"We do whatever it takes to protect anyone, regardless of whatever their circumstances are. From sexual assault to domestic violence, that's our mission," said Marta Miranda, President CEO Center for Women and Families.

Last year, the mission was put to the test, when the center was forced to evacuate clients and staff after a brutal winter caused water leaks in the roof.

"We were paying somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 a month in utilities and rent so that we could house our clients in hotels and apartments and our staff," Miranda said.

The center eventually took out a construction loan to pay for upgrades that include more dorm-style rooms, a laundromat, security cameras, an intercom system and even separate entrances staffed by advocates.

"So if you come in and you just got assaulted, there is an advocate that is going to speak with you," Miranda said. "And you don't have to sit there with somebody who is here, maybe to meet with me or to make a donation."

Later this week, clients will return after more than a year away. They'll move into a new and improved center.

"Anyone who wanted in could find away to get in," Keown said.

Keown used to live in fear of her ex finding her. That is no longer the case, mainly because of the upgrades.

"Now that's gone," she said. "It is closed in ... it is more protected."

The center still needs to raise another $1.5 million to pay off the loan. To make donation of your own, click here.

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