CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — After two years of being virtual, the YWCA’s Girls Night Out fundraiser returns in person once again in 2022. The annual event helps to raise funds for the Resolve Family Abuse Program.

In 2018, Ivy Evans was pregnant and in an abusive relationship. She sent her children to stay with family fearing for their safety. She ended up in the hospital emergency room with a concussion following a fight with her abuser. At the hospital, a nurse and social worker told her about the Resolve Family Abuse Program.

“I knew I didn’t want to go back to him,” Evans said. “I guess I thought if this didn’t work out, I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

She went straight to the Hope House, a shelter operated by the YWCA. They were able to help her reconnect with her children and do things like get identification and a marriage certificate. Those are things she said were vital as she worked to get back on her feet.

“Without this program, we’d probably be homeless or dead,” she said.

From the Hope House, she moved to the YWCA’s Alicia McCormick Transitional Homes where she could live on her own while still receiving support.

“It helped me get back to life, to knowing how to manage money, how to learn myself,” Evans said. “You know, I didn’t know myself with people controlling me and telling me what to do, when to do it, what to wear. These are the things that without the help I wouldn’t have done.”

The encouraging words and resources gave her hope that better days are still to come.

“I learned a lot about myself, my strengths, my ability to take care of my family and myself,” Evans said. “Take a chance on people that you don’t know, try to trust, try to give people the benefit of the doubt.”

She wants those who support the work that goes on at the YWCA to know it does matter.

“They are helping single mothers, they are helping women get back on their feet, helping them survive this cruel world. Nobody can do it by themselves,” Evans said.

Girls Night Out is Aug. 13 at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. You can click here to find out more.