HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – There is a new safe house in Hampton Roads for survivors of domestic violence.
Natalie’s House is a safe haven for women and families to safely escape abuse. 10 On Your Side will not share the city or location for safety reasons.
Devona Natalie Boone organized the transitional home in honor of her mom Eunice Natalie Boone.
“When I was 10 years old, I witnessed her murder,” Devona Boone said. “Her boyfriend stabbed her 27 times in front of me. I went through a whirlwind of emotions and behaviors, and a lot of things and the end result was basically birthing Natalie’s place. The goal is to build a legacy, to share my mom’s story to save lives.”
Devona Boone said growing up without her mom meant bouncing to different family members. She wrote a book about her experience called ‘A Precious GEM: The journey of my shaping.’
“It was a lot of ups and downs, a lot of pains, a lot of turmoil,” Boone said.
Natalie’s Place just celebrated its one-year mark, on Feb. 11.
“I understand the background that these women come from, because a lot of people think that just because the mom or the parent is getting abused that the children are not affected,” Boone said. “It affects the children just as much as though they are getting the fists or the verbal abuse. So, some of those same side effects that my mom was going through. Later one, I realized later on that I was dealing with some of the same stuff.”
The house welcomes up to four women and two kids for up to a year. The resource room hosts educational sessions on money management, jobs, and education. The clients will also set goals along the way with mentors and life coaches.
Natalie’s Closet is always accepting donations for women and kids.
“Sometimes they flee their homes, and they have nothing at all,” Boone said. “So, we want to take away that barrier.”
Want to help?
Natalie’s Place is always looking for volunteers, donations, and mentors. Devona Boone said she is looking for mentors to join the team, to help survivors reach their goals along the way.
The safe house board will host a fundraiser Saturday morning Feb. 25 at the Applebee’s at 1520 Sam’s Circle in Chesapeake, Va.