Family Life

The Risen Queen Foundation Gives Mothers and Children a New Voice

Kay Riggs is the founder of The Risen Queen Foundation, a domestic violence foundation, and a survivor of domestic violence. Founded in 2020, The Risen Queen Foundation was inspired by a direct firsthand encounter with domestic violence that Kay and her children experienced and the restoration and success after surviving a grim situation. Her ultimate mission was to restore abused mothers and children to stability and meet the persistent needs so many of these broken families faced while living in shelters. During her time at a domestic violence shelter, Kay recalls the inexplicable resource gaps that many of these shelters faced.

With the economic downturn and unwavering need for more funds, domestic violence shelters across the nation struggle to do a lot with little funds, while being understaffed and lacking the resources available to aid survivors. Kay realized she wanted to be a part of the resolution and decided to fill that void. With the help of community business leaders, Kay was able to get the funding and resources she needed to restore her family and launch her organization, The Risen Queen Foundation–to create a safe haven for women and children affected by domestic violence.

The Risen Queen Foundation offers specific programs and services to abused mothers and children, such as: Financial Assistance for Rental and Utility Deposits, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Skills for the Mother and Child(ren), and the Financial Literacy Program. The goal of these programs is to help stabilize mothers and their children so that they can go on to rebuild their lives with dignity and resilience. Kay states, “From experience, once a survivor enters the shelter, we are given six to eight weeks to stabilize our families. In that time, many are expected to not only relocate but carry on with their day-to-day lives while in agony and caring for children.” During this time, the mother and child are faced with the financial burden of leaving an abusive home and fear of the shelters, and if they’re able to leave, many families are subjected to living in low-income, high-crime areas. The survivor and her children usually become a product of their environment and low-income housing sets the family up for overall financial and mental instability. 

One overlooked resource for children living in a domestic violence situation is therapy–specifically emotional regulation skills. Programs like the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Skills for the Mother and Child(ren) provide children with the necessary tools and coping mechanisms to navigate and process their emotions in a healthy, safe environment. Additionally, financial programs like Financial Assistance for Rental and Utility Deposits and the Financial Literacy Program help women to achieve financial independence and learn the necessary skills to gain financial security and control over their finances and, ultimately, control over their future.

The Risen Queen Foundation partners closely with The Power Coalition, which offers education, resources, and grantmaking opportunities to support the foundation’s activism. Additionally, European Wax Center’s local franchisee, Michelle, along with her executive staff, stand as valuable allies. Studyville, focusing on the academic well-being of students impacted by their home environment, and Pilates Plus, dedicated to raising awareness and supporting recovery after abuse, are also vital community partners. Kay recalls the kindness of business leaders who contributed to her family’s success and restoration. “Reflecting back on the many steps that were taken during our restoration, many business leaders in my community stepped up and donated the many essentials and resources me and my family needed to survive.”

While the organization has made massive strides to provide a safe haven for survivors, challenges with funding have proved to be a common roadblock. “The foundation does have funding challenges. Many are not invested or aware of the recovery process because the abuse is usually highlighted and many believe that once a surviving family reaches the domestic violence shelter, recovery is complete,” states Kay. The foundation is currently applying for grants and scheduling fundraising events to help raise funds for its initiatives. In addition, The Risen Queen Foundation consistently engages with the community through news, media, press releases, marketing, email blasts, newsletters, and so much more. The foundation hopes to expand its reach by scheduling awareness events throughout the state, and then partnering with other philanthropic groups across state lines to host
additional events.

As The Risen Queen Foundation continues to evolve, Kay plans to invest in teen dating violence initiatives to raise awareness and educate about teen dating violence, in hopes of preventing and lessening abusive behavior and victim behavior while in its
earlier stages.

The Risen Queen Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering survivors of domestic violence and supporting families on their journey to restoration. By fostering healing, resilience, and community support, Kay believes that there can be a future where every survivor can reclaim their power, rebuild their lives, and thrive.

This article was originally published in April 2024.

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