TYLER, TX (KLTV) - In Texas, 138 women died from domestic abuse last year and four of those women lived in Smith County. A non-profit group in Tyler, called Sisters in Christ has rescued hundreds of East Texas victims. But, their founder says that they are in need of money, or their doors will be closed at the end of this month.
"You're never going to be beautiful," said Victoria Finch, a victim of domestic abuse. "No one wants you. Your hair isn't long enough, blonde enough. They make fun of every part of your body."
These are the words Victoria Finch heard on a daily basis. A victim of domestic abuse, she finally reached her breaking point.
"When it started going to my children, it's like, 'Wait a minute, no.,'" said Finch. "I can take it, but you aren't going to do this to the kids. I've got to get a way out. I've got to find a way out."
Miraculously, Finch says Sister's in Christ rescued her.
"It has brought me to believe that someone believes in me," she said.
"I wanted to reach back into the community and help the ladies because, personally, I could feel their pain," said Michelle Johnson, founder of Sisters in Christ.
A survivor of domestic violence, Johnson founded Sisters in Christ three years ago. Currently located in north Tyler, their help center has touched over 300 lives since May 2009.
"They walk in here one way, they walk out a new way," said Johnson.
Dependent on private donations, she says they can no longer pay the bills. A food pantry, once filled with food, is now empty, and, if rent is not paid by the end of the month, her doors will close.
"When they walk in and I have to turn them away because of a lack of funds, that is what hurts," said Johnson. "That hurts me the most."
"All the money in the earth is not enough for someone that is doing what she is doing," said Finch. "It has to stay open. It has to."
Restoring dignity and purpose in the lives of hundreds, Michelle says she will find a way to go on.
If you want to donate or find out more about Sisters in Christ, click here.