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The Sisters of the Good Shepherd were originally founded in 1641 in France to help prostituted women and are now serving in 72 countries.
“Almost all of our work — worldwide — is with women and children, most of whom have been abused or exploited in some way — trafficking victims, runaways, domestic violence. One in three women worldwide will be abused at some point in her lifetime,” said Sister Anne Kelley, executive director of the Good Shepherd Shelter in Los Angeles, adding that close to 98% of prostituted women were sexually abused as children.
The sisters have been serving in Los Angeles for 111 years. Initially they cared for abused children and runaways but changed their program in 1977 to serve mothers and children who were victims of domestic violence. The Sisters saw from the beginning that the way to stem the violence was to change the home. Good Shepherd Shelter was one of the first of three in the whole country for victims of domestic violence.
“These guys are very charming,” Sister Anne explains of the batterers. “That’s how they get the girl in the first place. Then they get possessive. It’s not about anger. It’s about control.”
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