ACT Seeks Community Support To Help Abuse Victims, Survivors

‘Spreading Our Wings’ To Marshal Resources For Comprehensive Services

Submitted By: Josh Milton


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc., also known as ACT, is launching a special “Spreading Our Wings” campaign, asking the community’s help to build on existing outreach services and extend important training programs to prevent and minimize the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault.

ACT plans to raise $2.4 million to offset the cost of purchasing the building it has rented for ten years, the Second ACT Thrift Store. The purchase will allow ACT to expand its various outreach programs to support victims and survivors of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking and human trafficking. Last year, ACT answered over 15,000 calls through its 24-hour hotline and helped over 7,000 community members with their confidential services, including emergency shelter, counseling, economic empowerment and job-skills training, children’s services, legal advocacy, and other free programs.

“So many people count on us to help them through their darkest moments, and the Second ACT Thrift Store is a vital component of our services that allows us to provide that help,” ACT CEO Jennifer L. Benton said. “But this isn’t just about owning the building. It’s about empowering people to overcome desperate circumstances and move forward with the life they deserve.”

Proceeds from the thrift store help fund ACT’s three shelters, which helped 690 victims of domestic violence and their children in 2018. They also go toward outreach counseling programs and providing informational resources for victims and survivors. Second ACT is also much more than simply a thrift store. ACT uses the store as a job training ground so clients can gain work experience while staying at one of the shelters. The building is also ACT’s primary storage space for essential items like furniture, bedding, clothing, dishes and other household items, which is not only used for shelter residents upon intake, but also is available for them when they leave to start a new beginning for their family. Additionally, the purchase will allow ACT to open an outreach program at the facility, expanding its outreach to the community.

“Our generous supporters, past and present, and the compassionate people of Southwest Florida have a new opportunity to help us change lives for the better,” Benton said. “We’re looking forward to working together with everyone to fulfill our mission.”

ACT has helped more than 80,000 people since it was founded in 1978.

Learn about all the ways to be a part of the “Spreading Our Wings” campaign at

About Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc.

Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc., better known as ACT, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit social service agency providing safe, free and confidential help to victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. ACT has been providing a circle of support for victims and their families since 1978. The organization is one of the largest safe housing providers in Florida. ACT provides critical services to those in crisis through a 24-hour hotline, counseling, forensic examinations, medical, legal and personal advocacy, violence prevention programs, children’s programs and more. Find out more at

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