Fleeing from a violent relationship can be a life or death choice for a woman and her children.
In Prince George’s County there’s only one safe place to run - it’s a house in an undisclosed location through Family Crisis Center Inc.
“I don’t have nowhere to go. I don’t have family, nothing,” said one of the women currently living in the house, who did not want to be identified.
Seven women now living in that house said conditions are substandard and dangerous- for them and their children who are between the ages of four months to 18 years old.
“It’s unbearable. It makes you want to leave, and it makes you want to do something; it makes you want to go back and that’s not an option,” said another woman that lives in that house and also did not want to be identified.
As temperatures plummet, the women said they can see their breath in many of the rooms.
“It’s cold outside. There’s no heat in many of the rooms, we have babies in there, we have elderly women in there, we have sick people in there,” said one woman.
The women have taken photographs of moldy food, moldy bathroom tiles, and food that is served past its expiration date. They said they’ve made numerous complaints, but to no avail.
“What are we showing our kids," one woman questioned. Sometimes I don’t even give her the food because it’s been left out for days.”
It’s not just a matter of comfort, they’re also concerned about their safety. They said there isn’t enough security at the house to make them feel protected.
Family Crisis Center Inc. is funded by Prince George’s County, as well as the state of Maryland and private donations.
WUSA9 reached out to Sophie Ford, Executive Director of Family Crisis Center, as well as county council members, but could not reach anyone for comment.
Prince George’s County has the highest rate of domestic homicide in the state. In 2017, there have been 26 domestic homicides, up from 20 in 2016.