NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY)– The Chez Hope Domestic Violence Program, along with the Department of Child and Family Service, opened New Iberia’s first shelter for survivors of domestic abuse.

Chez Hope’s ribbon cutting today has officially opened their new shelter for domestic violence survivors.

This is New Iberia’s first shelter where people can receive help for domestic abuse.

The goal of this shelter is to provide people in New Iberia who experience domestic violence with the help they need.

Marketa Garner Walters of the DCFS services said she knew her department needed to be involved in helping to get a shelter in New Iberia.

“When this need arose in this community, we knew we needed to step up and find some more money,” stated Walters.

Cherrise Picard with Chez Hope said this shelter is important for the community because it will allow survivors the time to heal, and access to a fresh start.

“It is very important for us to be here. we are a voice for survivors who can not have their own voice. It’s important they can have that time to themselves, a trauma informed approach to starting your life over free from violence,” said Picard.

Picard said New Iberia’s new shelter offers six units where survivors can stay up to six weeks.

“We offer a safe refuge for them. We offer a place where they can stay up to six weeks in our beautiful apartments.”

Chez Hope said if there’s anyone who needs assistance or if there’s anyone who’s in a domestic situation, please call their crisis hotline at 1-888-411-1333.