INDIANAPOLIS — A heartbreaking letter to Santa Claus from a child living in a domestic violence shelter in Texas went viral on Facebook Thursday.
The seven-year-old boy asked Santa to bring him a "very, very, very good dad" to replace the one who forced him and his mom into the shelter.
"If this was one of our children, which it could be, I would be so disappointed because it's something I can't give a child," Shawnta Beverly at Coburn Place Safe Haven, a domestic violence shelter in Indianapolis, said. "He doesn't understand that Santa can't provide that gift."
Beverly said no child should ever have to ask for something like a new parent for Christmas, but her decades of work with domestic violence survivors has shown her kids are some of the most vulnerable and impressionable victims.
"That's why we try to stop the cycle with children because we know it's a cycle of violence," Beverly said.
To do that, they have several programs to help the survivors heal. They love having volunteers from all sorts of organizations come in and work with them.
"It exposes our women and our children to positive things that can improve their lives," Beverly said. "It's everyone's duty to make sure that their neighbor, or just people, are safe because you never know what could happen if you don't."
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are organizations in Central Indiana that can help:
Coburn Place: https://coburnplace.org/
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://icadvinc.org/
Domestic Violence Network: https://dvnconnect.org/resources/support-resources-central-indiana-service-providers/
Julian Center: https://www.juliancenter.org/