Local Non-Profit Hosts ‘Courage Awards’ and Celebrates Domestic Violence Survivors


October marks domestic violence awareness month. Community members, local politicians and survivors of domestic violence were brought together Friday morning to celebrate the work that is being done in Northwest Arkansas to help those affected by domestic violence.

The Peace at Home Shelter in Fayetteville helps provide a safe place for domestic violence victims everyday.

“What an opportunity we’re able to give to single parents and their children,” said Gail Eads.

Friday morning recognized three locals for their selfless work in support of domestic violence in Northwest Arkansas.

“It’s the women it’s also the kids. We’re hoping by going through this process we can stop the next generation,” said Erik Schermerhorn.

Courage Award winners Gail Eads, Erik Skrimerhorn, and David Pieper said through their combined 30 years of service, they are proud to have made a change in the community.

“It is an absolutely wonderful feeling to help someone move their life forward. It’s amazing that in 30-60 days you can completely change someone’s life,” said Pieper.

Lives like Sarah’s.

“He would wrap his hands around my throat and strangle me. He would later tell me what it was like to watch the light go out in my eyes,” said Sarah.

“I was with my abuser for five years. He was super abusive to the point where he had kind of locked me and my children in the house and we literally had to run under the cover of darkness, and seek refuge and shelter at Peace at Home,” said Sarah.

With Peace at Home, Sarah and her family were able to recover. Without it she said she wouldn’t have made it out the other side.

“It was a fight to get there, and it was intimidating to be there. I have a completely different life from going there though,” said Sarah.

Thanks to support from locals like the Courage Awards recipients, domestic violence victims like Sarah are given hope and able to create a new, stronger life.

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