YAKIMA, Wash- The Yakima YWCA's transitional housing program is the newest of their resources for domestic violence victims. It's a longer-term housing option than their emergency shelters and Shamira Moore says it's given her the assistance to leave her abuser for good.
"It's just a safe place...the safest place I can be right now', says Moore.
The mother of five had been trying to leave an abusive relationship for three years. During that time she and her daughters were in and out of the YWCA's emergency shelter.
"I thought I was in control then but I wasn't".
Moore finally realized she needed to leave for good when her seven-year-old gave her some advice to keep from being hit.
"Just don't say anything. Keep your mouth shut. Don't do anything to make dad mad", her oldest daughter advised
It was March 16 when Moore left her boyfriend for what she says is the last time. She spent 90 days in the emergency shelter, the maximum allowed. Without the transitional housing program she would have had to leave the YWCA and put herself at risk for re-entering the domestic violence cycle.
"I think he would have weaseled his way back into my life and I would have let it happen", she admits.
That's much less likely under the rules of the transitional housing. For the two years women are allowed to live there they're only allowed three visitors total, and no men are allowed in. Moore says she's mostly grateful for the strict rules that sometimes keep her from having to make hard decisions.
"It's like a crutch", she explains. "It keeps you standing you know?"
Moore says she and her daughters still struggle with the fear and uncertainty that comes from their experiences. But she says overall she's excited for their future which includes nursing assistant school for her this fall.