May 3, 2010 8:52 AM
SmithStoreit, a self storage facility in Huntsville, Alabama, announced Friday that it will donate 30 units to local survivors of domestic violence. Each unit will be used to provide three months of free storage at a time for a domestic violence survivor. Storage can be an important part of a battered woman's escape plan for leaving a dangerous relationship. Often, women plan their departures for months before they actually leave an abusive partner. They may need to slowly and gradually accumulate possessions in a storage unit, so that when the time comes, they can leave quickly without having to pack.
Self storage units are not expensive, but domestic violence survivors often fear retaliation from their former partners. They may need to know that they are not creating a paper trail (in the form of bills or credit card statements) that could lead abusive ex-partners to find them. Moreover, in many cases survivors of domestic violence cannot afford even the small monthly rental fee for a self storage unit. Having a free self storage unit solves these problems. Using a storage unit also means that survivors need not impose on family and friends, which can be important -- survivors may not want to be traced through family and friends, and also may be concerned about the possibility of placing family and friends at risk. [More]