Helping battered women

Helping battered women


Helping transform Grady and the lives of its patients 

An afternoon in the ER

Removing fear from memories

Helping battered women

Leaving an abusive relationship can take as many as 10 tries, especially for women with no job, dependent children, broken spirits, and no place to go but the street.

Most programs for abused women kick them out if they go back to their abusers or have a drug or alcohol problem. Not the Grady Nia Project, established by Emory psychologist Nadine Kaslow (below) more than 10 years ago to help African American women who are abused and suicidal.

Early in her career, Kaslow treated a woman who repeatedly returned to her abuser and who later killed herself. Kaslow wanted to do something to change the disastrous scenario faced by that patient and countless others like her. Counselors in Nia (a Swahili word for “purpose”) are on call 24/7, often making a trip to the Grady emergency department in the middle of the night when a woman arrives who has made a suicide attempt or who has injuries suggestive of partner violence.

Nadine Kaslow

Women who enroll in Nia join an empowerment therapy group of 50 to 75 other women—some remain in the group for years—while Nia counselors help them develop safety plans, find shelter, and enroll in addiction, work readiness, and/or literacy programs.

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