“If a woman has more than two children, it is extremely difficult for her to find housing and the abuser knows that. We’d like to provide four or five residences on those grounds that are designed for larger families,” Gray said.
Gray knows firsthand the pain that is caused by domestic violence. As a child, Gray said, he witnessed his father abuse his mother.
“I always look at it from a child’s perspective. I know the women make the decisions, but the children have no say in the decision making process. I always look at the children first and what they go through. One of the things that I would always ask my mother was, ‘Why don’t we just leave?’ Her response would always be, ‘Because we don’t have anywhere to go.’ Even today, women still have that sense that if they step out and have no where to go, there is a likelihood that DHS will take their children. And the abuser knows that also,” Gray said.
Gray’s advice to a woman currently in a domestic violence situation is to educate herself.
“If you have a true desire to get out, start making preparations. It takes a lot of things falling into place for that to work. Once you step out that door, you are at the point of no return. One of the things you have to be careful of, once the abuser becomes aware that the victim is attempting to leave, then the violence escalates,” Gray said.
Compassion Pointe operates 12 Compassion Houses which allow women to escape their abusers and start a new life. According to Gray, Compassion Pointe has been able to assist about 30 women this year, and the organization operates on a 95 percent success rate.
Ways that individuals can help victims of domestic violence is to support the Women’s Resource Center in Norman, donate personal hygiene items, donate gift cards to beauty salons or area grocery stores or even donate a car.