Inside South FloridaDoing Good


Women in Distress: Empowering Survivors for 50 Years

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 21:34:03-04

Disclaimer: This is sponsored content. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

Inside South Florida recently sat down with Shena Kitt from Women in Distress to discuss the organization's crucial role in supporting survivors of domestic violence in Broward County. With their 50th anniversary approaching, Women in Distress continues to provide intervention, education, and advocacy to individuals and families in need.

Women in Distress is a certified domestic violence center serving Broward County, offering comprehensive services to survivors and their children. Shena Kitt, chief operating officer of the organization, explains, "And you do not need to have children or be a woman in distress to access our services. Our services are inclusive of all individuals who are going through domestic violence and experiencing violence in any form."

Reflecting on the organization's growth over the years, Shena expresses pride in their progress. From humble beginnings in a hotel room to now operating a 136-bed shelter, Women in Distress has expanded its services significantly. Women in Distress continues to push for the expansion of services to meet the evolving needs of survivors.

At the heart of Women in Distress's mission is the philosophy of "reclaiming power." Shena elaborates, "Their power was never taken away, they just have to find it… We help them lay claim to it and just own it.”

When discussing signs of domestic abuse, Shena emphasizes that it extends beyond physical violence. While physical abuse is often the most visible, verbal and emotional abuse can be equally damaging. Financial abuse, in particular, has become more prevalent, trapping survivors in abusive situations due to economic dependence.

Children are also significantly affected by domestic violence, even if they are not direct victims. Children exposed to domestic violence may exhibit various symptoms, such as regression, anxiety, or behavioral issues. Shena highlights the importance of addressing the impact on children through education and therapeutic services, “We have therapeutic services that work with children, because we're trying to counter the negative effects of domestic violence.”

For those seeking assistance or information, Women in Distress offers various resources, including a statewide hotline and online chat services. Shena encourages individuals to reach out for support. For more information, visit, or call the crisis hotline at (954) 761-1133.

This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by WSFL-TV’s trusted legal advisors, Demesmin and Dover Law Firm.