Options of Burke County

For Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Rape


Jim’s House

Jim’s House provides shelter to victims of domestic and sexual violence who must flee their homes to escape the abuse they suffer there. We are staffed 24 hours a day by a trained professional, and accept clients any time, day or night.

Jim’s House is here whenever you need it.

Survivor Bill of Rights

You all have the right to:

  • Be happy and thrive
  • Live without violence
  • Live without fear
  • Feel and express our feelings
  • Have our needs met
  • Take care of ourselves and our children
  • Make the choices and decisions in our own lives
  • Forgive ourselves for past decisions
  • Be free of shame and blame
  • Be free of all forms of abuse
  • Be loved in a healthy way
  • Build better lives for ourselves

Download Power and Control Wheel : PDF File

Power and Control Wheel

Domestic violence does not come from anger. It does not come from violence. It does not come from drinking alcohol. Domestic violence comes from the desire of an abuser to exert power and control over his victim.
The Power and Control Wheel, developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth, Minnesota, describes the many types of abuse suffered by victims of domestic violence. Very rarely does a victim of domestic violence suffer only one form of abuse. More often, victims are terrorized by a number of abusive tactics that abusers use to control them. The Power and Control wheel shows common tactics that abusers use to control their victims.

Safety Plan

If you are scared of your partner or if you are a victim of sexual or domestic violence, Options encourages you to make a safety plan for yourself and your children.
If you are planning to come to Options for shelter, try to bring:

  • A change of clothes for you and your children
  • As much money as you can set aside to get you through
  • A cell phone, or change for a pay phone; Options has a phone that clients can use to make local calls
  • Keys to your house and car
  • Important documents: check book, social security numbers for you and your children, health insurance card, driver’s license or other identification
  • Bring a picture of your abuser, along with your abuser’s birth date and workplace


Coming to Jim’s House

Victims who experience domestic or sexual violence face a grave choice: to stay in the home despite abuse, or to leave and become homeless.  This is a daunting choice for any victim.  Options seeks to alleviate the struggles associated with leaving an abusive partner by providing victims with a safe place to live.  Options will provide female clients emergency shelter, which is marked by several unique characteristics: communal living, safety-oriented expectations, and support of goals that maximize a client’s likelihood of building an independent and violence-free life for her family.  Victims that suffer domestic and sexual violence experience deep trauma at the hands of a trusted family member.  They require and deserve unwavering support from their advocates and from their community.  This trauma leaves them weak, vulnerable and broken.  Options seeks to create a web of support that will enable a family to enter our doors broken, and emerge strong.

Jim’s House accepts self referrals by appointment or walk-in, and referrals from hospitals, law enforcement, and the court system.  Often a dramatic escalation of abuse or a particularly gruesome act of violence forces a victim to flee the home.  Other battered women feel that they are capable of enduring abuse, and do so for years, until her abuser attacks her children.  Violence that changes its focus from a woman to her child is often a strong catalyst for the family to flee.  Even other victims are brought to Options by police transport after a criminally violent attack, or after being hospitalized due to domestic or sexual violence.  If a victim is hospitalized for domestic or sexual violence in Burke County, an employee of Options will accompany the victim during her hospitalization to provide emotional support and empowerment through knowledge of her rights and options.

Clients arrive at Jim’s House in crisis.  Parents and children are often very emotional and scared.  Many clients come to Jim’s House via police transport, a frightening experience in itself, and having just experienced a violent traumatic event.  The intake process is designed to make clients feel comfortable talking about the abuse and feel comfortable in their temporary new home.  Clients are invited to rest and decompress as soon as they arrive because few are ready to have an intensely emotional conversation about their abuse immediately.  Mothers are offered a smoke break and a cup of tea, while children are given a stuffed animal and are shown the play areas.  During the actual intake interview, mothers are asked to describe their abuser and the abuse to the extent they feel comfortable.  They are also asked to set goals for to share with another family or individual.  All other areas are shared, including the kitchen, dining room, living room, play room, smoking deck, and back yard.  Communal living presents clients with both logistical challenges and unique opportunities to build relationships.

A concern of communal living that is particular to domestic violence shelters is to maintain the maximum level of physical and emotional safety for all clients at all times.  When they arrive at Jim’s House, clients are in crisis because they are in serious physical danger.  Clients would not need emergency shelter if their physical safety were not in jeopardy.  Housing a number of clients whose physical safety is endangered by a violent abuser multiplies the potential for violent individuals to trespass on our property in pursuit of their victims.  Safety expectations on clients seek to diminish the potential for violence.  Clients are expected to have no contact with abusers, are never to invite abusers on our property, are to inform staff if they are having someone pick them up at the shelter, and are to abide by strict confidentiality rules regarding other clients.  Options also seeks to enhance security through safety audits of our property by law enforcement, and regular investment in security upgrades.

While staying in Jim’s Shelter, clients are expected to work towards establishing a violence-free and independent life for their families.  This is a difficult, but rewarding, process that Options’ staff supports as much as possible.  Options staff supports clients as they work to achieve the goals they set for themselves during the intake interview.  Such goals include providing their children with a violence-free home, severing contact with the abuser, establishing safe contact between children and their fathers, or financial independence.  Steps that clients take to achieve these goals are often filing a DVPO, attending Battered Women’s Support Group, ensuring Medicaid or health insurance for their children, seeking out counseling for their children, enrolling their children in day-care or school, or looking for a job or affordable housing.  Clients meet with the shelter manager once every three days to evaluate their progress towards achieving their goals, and to reassess the appropriateness of their plans.

Any battered woman or family is eligible to receive Options’ crisis services and emergency shelter.  Men who are victims of domestic or sexual violence are also eligible to receive Options’ crisis services and emergency shelter; however, Options finds alternative shelter for men and does not shelter men in Jim’s House.

Battered Women’s Shelter

North Carolina Council for Women and Domestic Violence

North Carolina Family Violence Prevention

North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission

Housing and Urban Development: Emergency Shelter Grants and Development Block Grant

Federal Emergency Management Agency