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7-Year-Old Currently Living In Domestic Abuse Shelter Asks Santa For A 'Very Good Dad' In Bittersweet Letter

SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook

A kid's eye-opening letter to Santa is humbling the internet and reminding us not to take the gifts we already have for granted.

It is also eliciting plenty of tears.

A mother, who lives with her 7-year-old son at a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Fort Worth, Texas, found her son's hand-written list of items he wants from Santa tucked inside his backpack.


Included in his wish list were some books, a dictionary, a compass, and a watch.

But he saved the most treasured item for last, and it is something truly special and missing from his life:

"a very very very good dad."



The boy's mother, whose name was withheld for protection, shared the heart-warming letter with the SafeHaven of Tarrant County staff.

On Wednesday, the shelter shared the touching letter on their Facebook page and noted that they changed the boy's name to "Blake" in order to keep him and his mother safe.


The letter went viral on social media.

Get those tissues ready. Blake's letter reads:

"Dear Santa,"
"We had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted. Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don't have to be scared."
"I'm still nervous. I don't want to talk to the other kids. Are you going to come this Christmas? We don't have any of our stuff here."
"Can you bring some chapter books, a dictionary, and a compass and a watch? I also want a very very very good dad. Can you do that too?"
"Love, Blake"



Giphy






Micah Thompson, SafeHaven's director of marketing, confirmed with the NY Post that they received permission from Blake and his mother to share the letter.

"They obviously had no idea how much attention it would receive."
"Blake's letter paints such a great picture of what life is like in shelter for a child during the holidays. He is one of so many kids who are experiencing those same emotions this holiday season."





SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook


SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook


SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook


SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook



The domestic shelter's CEO and president Kathryn Jacob commented on the sad reality of thousands of kids who come from broken homes:

"Blake's story is like every story we see. The problem is so pervasive."

According to the CEO, the average SafeHaven client is a mom with three kids having suffered from intimate domestic partner violence.

Jacob also said the shelter experiences a surge with many victims seeking help during this time of year when schools are out.

"I think adult victims of domestic violence are thoughtful and strategic -- I know they do the safest thing for themselves and their children."
"We may not understand that completely, but I think that's why they typically don't want to interrupt their child's academic life, so they do that when there's a break from school."

This year, SafeHaven set up a toy shop called, "Santa's Sack," which is comprised of 10,000 local donations for the mothers at the shelter to shop from.


SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook


The shelter also created an Amazon "Wish List" for people wanting to help the shelter's 117 women and children thanks to Blake's viral letter to Santa.






SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook


Thompson said the response has been overwhelming with the Amazon wish list constantly needing an update.

"The amount of monetary support and in-kind support we have received is honestly unreal."

Founded in 1976, SafeHaven's mission is to "end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change."

The shelter currently hosts 45 women and 74 children, with a maximum capacity of 164 people.

Thompson added that Blake's wish list had a profound impact on people through awareness and visibility on a stigmatized subject.

"For a simple letter to Santa from a 7-year-old to empower so many people in different ways is truly incredible."
"Domestic violence is so hush-hush in our society today, and if his letter empowers anyone to share their story or to ask for help, then we're better off than we were before.



SafeHaven of Tarrant County/Facebook


According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) some of the disturbing statistics include:

"On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men."
"1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered 'domestic violence.'"
"1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (e.g. beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime."
"1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence."

Those near the Tarrant County area seeking SafeHaven's services are encouraged to contact them through their 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-877-701-SAFE (7233).

If you don't live in the Forth Worth area, there are various local shelters and resources available to help you.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline through their website.

Their highly-trained advocates are available 24/7 and 365 days a year to speak confidentially with anyone who needs help.

Blake, you deserve all that you ask from Santa and so much more.