The Lighthouse: How to leave an abuser

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WJTV)– A shelter for domestic violence victims is shedding light on the problem.

People are calling the murder-suicide that happened Friday morning in Lincoln County heartbreaking and senseless. The founder of The Lighthouse in Hattiesburg says these types of situations are what led him to a career to change lives.

On Friday, police say a man shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, leaving their child behind.

“It really burdens my heart and my wife’s also,” said Kenneth Thronson, the founder of The Lighthouse. “We used to own our own business. It was a family business and when God called us in, we closed our business because we felt such a burden for these ladies suffering.”

Thronson now runs The Lighthouse, helping women get back on their feet with computer classes and job readiness skills. They’ll even help you get a GED.

He says women in abusive relationships face difficult, scary situations when deciding for themselves when is the right time to leave their abuser.

“We had one lady we played phone tag with back and forth for the longest,” said Thronson. “She was just terrified of getting caught on the phone and so it’s hard, and again my heart goes out to those ladies as my wife’s who find themselves in those situations, but I do want to encourage them to reach out to someone to maybe let someone else do the calling for you.”

He says put some money aside where the abuser can’t find it, have a go-bag ready, and when the moment comes be ready to run.

The Lighthouse has seen an uptick of women needing help during this coronavirus pandemic.
They’ve just applied for two grants so they can provide more housing.

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