"Domestic violence knows no boundaries," Bruce said. "You may have a very young woman. You may have a very [elderly] woman or you may have someone who's very well off or someone who's not. It knows no socioeconomic boundaries at all.
"[Our goal is] we want them, number one, to be safe. That is our first priority when they come to us is to make sure that they are safe. We also try to help them with their legal matters, [such as] if they need a temporary protective order [or] if they need to be referred to an attorney. If they need to have their children enrolled in school, we help with that. Other than their basic needs, of course -- food, shelter, clothing -- those are some of the other things that we do. We do refer them to housing, for public housing or for income-based apartments, whatever is ready for them [and is] something that would suit them."
On July 30, area residents can support the Bartow County nonprofit by participating in the Cartersville Moose Lodge's motorcycle ride. Starting and ending at the Moose Lodge -- 314 N. Dixie Ave. in Cartersville -- the course will be about 90 miles. Registration for the ride will start at 10:30 a.m. on July 30 and the bikers will depart at 12:30 p.m., after receiving safety tips from Iron Order MC of Cartersville.
The cost to enter will be a donation of $15 per biker and $20 for a biker and passenger. Along with the ride, the event also will consist of music, karaoke, auction, raffles and a corn hole tournament. Barbecue plates and refreshments will be available at 2 p.m. for a $7 donation.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Christian League for Battered Women and its 17-bed shelter, Tranquility House, and the Women of the Moose Chapter 2372.
"I am trying to get us more involved in our community and help get our name out there as being a charitable organization," said Jenny England, member of the Women of the Moose Chapter 2372. "I think our organization has pretty much set idle for a long time.
"The Tranquility House is the battered women's shelter, and I just feel personally that those women need help. I, myself, have been in situations -- abusive situations -- and I'm lucky I had somewhere to go. And I know that some don't, and they need the assistance to help get out of this [situation]."
Formed in 1985, the domestic violence center and its shelter meets the needs of women and their children by providing a safe environment for them to temporarily stay and work toward future goals like securing housing, education or a job, if needed. Typically, the individuals reside at the shelter for 30 to 60 days, during which a support group, legal advocacy and community resources are at their disposal.
"It will go to the services that we offer, toward shelter, clothing, food -- just services that the women need when they come to us," said Bruce, about the motorcycle ride's proceeds. "Often they have to leave, of course, on [the] spur of the moment in the middle of the night. In those [types of] situations and when they leave most of the time they don't have time to gather up their belongings.
"If we have talked to them before, we try to do a little safety [presentation] with them where they would know to put some things aside, but that's not normally the case. They would come to us in a hurry usually. When you're being abused, you've got to get out when you can as quickly as you can. So usually when they will come to us they come with what they have right then."
For more information about the motorcycle ride, individuals need to contact England at 678-230-3852. Further details about the Christian League for Battered Women can be obtained by calling 770-386-8093. The domestic violence center also operates a crisis line, which is 770-386-8779.