Devon Energy supports Oklahoma City YWCA shelter with $1 million donation
Devon Energy gives $1 million to a $15 million campaign the YWCA of Oklahoma City is working on for a new shelter for women suffering from domestic abuse.
The YWCA of Oklahoma City on Friday received a $1 million contribution from Devon Energy to help expand an already-full shelter to help victims of domestic violence.
YWCA officials made the announcement at their headquarters in northwest Oklahoma City, and shared the organization's mission of helping women and children suffering from domestic violence and its vision surrounding its 2012 capital campaign.
The YWCA seeks to raise $15 million to expand their shelter from being able to hold 45 to 50 people fleeing domestic violence situations to more than 80 at a time.
The YWCA helped more than 15,000 women and children through its programs last year.
Jan Peery, CEO of the YWCA of Oklahoma City, said she is thrilled by Devon's donation. When they started the campaign, she said just the thought of raising $15 million was overwhelming.
“Fifteen million dollars,” Peery said. “I can say it now without my heart skipping a beat.”
Oklahoma ranks 11th in the nation for women killed by men because of domestic violence, and since 2000, nearly 1,000 homicides in Oklahoma have been directly related to domestic violence, YWCA officials said. Many of these women did not know about the resources available to them.
The YWCA's shelter, the only certified shelter in Oklahoma County, has helped countless women leave abusive situations.
Christy Baker is one of those women who suffered from an abusive husband more than 20 years ago.
She told her story at Friday's announcement.
After years of being subjected to abuse, she arrived home to a dark living room with the faint light of a cigarette by the couch, she said.
She knew things were about to get bad.
As she tried to walk to the bedroom, her husband pulled her by her hair and forced her to sit on the couch.
For the next several hours, she was forced to listen to her husband describe, at length, how he was going to kill her the next day when she arrived at work.
“He was very graphic in his description of my death,” Baker said. “And then he said he would sit down, smoke a cigarette and quietly wait for the police to come and arrest him.”