SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – Georgetown non-profit organization, Elizabeth’s Village purchased a new property to expand it’s reach as a domestic violence shelter for women.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence said that every 20 minutes, someone is physically abused by an intimate partner. In Kentucky, 45% of women and 35% of men experience intimate partner physical violence.

Elizabeth’s Village Executive Director, Kandice Whitehouse, said that they realized in 2017 there was a gap in services for domestic violence victims in Scott County. On Saturday, it purchased a new property in downtown Georgetown to expand their reach in providing a safe place for women, and their children, in danger.

“There’s still no physical shelter for people to go and be safe needing to leave their home, they’re having to travel to either Lexington, or Richmond or even farther,” Whitehouse said.

That’s because for women with children, uprooting their entire life is neither ideal, nor the easiest option.

“We’re happy to be the organization to fill that void that’s here in this community,” Whitehouse said.

Whitehouse said that domestic violence behind closed doors increased due to the pandemic and isolation.

“Due with people being at home with perpetrator’s, anxiety increasing and people not having the resources and programs like ours having to slim back or shutting down,” Whitehouse said.

A four-bedroom, two-bathroom house is currently being transformed into a safe haven for 18 women and children. It started undergoing renovations Saturday, but Whitehouse said she hopes their doors can open within a year or two.

“A lot of that depends on funding and how much we’re able to get at what time,” Whitehouse said. “Our campaign goal is 1.5 million so we’re dependent on individual’s, grant foundations, government funding, things like that.”

Those monetary donations won’t just help women in Scott County.

“If women are calling from surrounding counties we will definitely be accepting cause there are just not enough beds right now in any of the counties,” Whitehouse said.

Whitehouse said anyone who is willing to pick up a hammer and help with renovations is welcome to join.

To plug into the shelter or volunteer and help with the shelter’s staff, click the following link: Elizabeth’s Village | Elizabeth’s Village of Georgetown, KY (elizabethsvillage.org)