A welcome refuge, a helping hand and a network of support

Superior’s Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse helps women and children make big life changes

If there’s one number that Kelly Burger is taking aim at, it’s seven.

That’s the number of times a woman will flee from an abusive relationship before leaving permanently, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Burger hopes the latest hire at the Superior, Wisconsin-based Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA) can help more women stay away for good.

“We have an outreach advocate now, and we’re so excited about this. For many women, it’s scary to make those big changes in life, and basically start over. It’s just easier to go back home, because they think: ‘At least I know what I’m dealing with there,’ ” says Burger, CASDA’s executive director.

“When women are living in our shelter, say 45 or 60 days, they have 24-hour support from our staff. But when they get their own place, they’re not sure how they’re going to make a paycheck stretch two weeks,” she adds. “Our outreach advocate will do those follow-up services—come by for a cup of coffee, ask how things are going, and connect these folks with community resources.

“As a result, we’re seeing much better success.”

Established in 1988, CASDA supports women and children who’ve faced domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. CASDA offers:

  • An emergency shelter that provided 5,226 nights of safety in 2017 to 149 women and 86 children;
  • A 24-hour help line that answered more than 1,900 calls last year;
  • A sexual assault program that made 43 hospital calls to victims in 2017; and
  • A children’s program that supports child victims and witnesses of abuse.

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In all, CASDA’s eight programs helped 486 victims of violence or abuse in 2017.

“We have 10 bedrooms, and earlier this month we had a wait list of nine families. We were full to the brim, and we had nine more families that desperately needed shelter,” says Burger.

Enbridge is committed to improving quality of life in the communities near our operations and projects, including the nearby Line 3 Replacement Project.

In 2016, we invested more than $540,000 across the state of Wisconsin in community-strengthening initiatives, while our employee-driven 2017 United Way campaign in the Twin Ports raised nearly $89,000 to help sustain community outreach, poverty reduction, and educational initiatives.

Our recent donation of $5,000 to CASDA will be used to replace overworked equipment in its shelter, and provide transportation to low-income clients in the form of cab vouchers, bus passes, gas cards and minor vehicle repairs.

“I always describe our funding as a patchwork quilt—federal, state and local grants, private foundation grants, corporations like Enbridge, fundraising events, and private contributions,” says Burger. “It’s so helpful for us to be able to tell our clients: ‘It’s OK. We can help you until you get on your feet.’ ”