Meathead Movers’ 14-year-old policy of providing free moving services to victims of domestic violence is getting some overdue recognition in a big way.
A Sept. 4 article in L.A. Weekly about the SLO-based moving company “went viral” last month, generating hundreds of thousands of shares on social media and dozens of additional media stories about the altruistic practice. In response, a growing number of business from around the world are pledging their services to domestic violence victims, as part of the #MovetoEndDV movement, which is hosted on Meathead Movers’ website.
Thus far, 61 businesses in North America, including 12 in SLO County, have pledged free services to the cause, which are offered in partnership with their women’s shelters. The SLO County businesses participating as of Oct. 7 are Richardson Properties, Centurion Private Security, Guaranteed Rate, SLO Safe Ride, Treat SLO, Cal Coast Construction, Bladerunner Salon and Day Spa, Digital West Networks, Continental Motor Works, Commercial Laundry Equipment, SLOCO Massage & Wellness Spa, and Brakes Plus. The array of offerings include free transportation for victims in trouble, car repairs, financial literacy classes, construction services, and massages. Meathead Movers’ goal is to reach 100 pledges by the end of October, which is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Aaron Steed, CEO of Meathead Movers, told New Times that the national spotlight presented a unique opportunity to rally businesses everywhere around the pervasive issue. According to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner.
“It took us all by surprise,” Steed said of the media surge. “What we’re doing now is trying to encourage other businesses to think about how they can make an impact.”
Since 2001, Meathead Movers has partnered with women’s shelters in Central and Southern California to bring its moving services to victims. The women’s shelters work to create the safe conditions for a victim to move, and Meathead Movers arrives when the move is ready to take place. Steed said that the service is in high demand. The company has already done “close to 50 moves” relating to domestic violence in 2015, and “hundreds and hundreds” in its history.
Steed knows firsthand the impact that helping domestic violence victims move away from abusive homes can have. He hopes that the #MovetoEndDV campaign will broaden those results.
“Every time we do it, we literally feel like we’re saving a life,” Steed said.