Domestic Violence Shelter Hosts First Zumbathon

By Devika Rao
May 9, 2011

“It takes a whole community to prevent domestic violence because it affects a whole community. We have to learn and know how to handle it,” said Vanessa Mottley, executive director of Promise Place, a domestic violence shelter in Fayetteville.

Tapping into the newest fitness craze, Promise Place hosted its First Annual Zumbathon last Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville. Being the first event of this kind, the initiative received over 20 participants who came out to dance for the domestic violence shelter that helped over 2,000 victims in 2010.

The shelter, started in 1987, serves the Griffin Judicial Circuit that includes Fayette, Spalding, Upson and Pike counties. “Our shelter houses 15 women and children at a time, and we are one of the few shelters that do not have an age limit on teenage boys,” said Mottley. “With budget cuts, the need and involvement from the community is becoming a greater necessity for [Promise Place].”

Although a long term goal for the shelter is to provide more transitional housing and help victims with more resources than those already available, the shelter is aiming to collect 1,000 cell phones by July 1. The organization also gives back to the community by reaching out to ninth graders through its Teen Dating Violence program that has served over 1,400 teenagers by teaching them how to recognize and report abuse.

The shelter depends on its volunteers to maintain Promise Place’s dedication to safety and helping families start anew. Even if someone is not living in the Fayetteville area, “people can help by hosting something simple as food drives or car washes as a way to help the shelter,” Mottley suggested. Additionally, those in the area can volunteer with the crisis hotline, go grocery shopping, assist in childcare and help with fundraising events.

To get involved with Promise Place, visit