Meathead Movers is helping domestic violence victims for free — one move at a time.

In the U.S., one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. No one ever expects to be in those relationships, however no one expects how hard it is to leave one, either. That’s where one moving company in San Luis Obispo, California is making a huge difference.

How Meathead Movers Is Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

three moving trucks on the road
Photo by Quintin Gellar

Meathead Movers is comprised of student-athletes: athletes who actually jog when they’re not carrying items. According to the official website, the company prides itself on delivering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It also offers a free service to any domestic abuse victims who are having a hard time getting out.

“I would get phone calls from women looking to flee their abusive relationships. I would be on the phone, talking with them, hearing their stories with their voices trembling,” the CEO and co-owner of Meathead Movers, Aaron Steed, told CNN.

However, Steed and his brother, Evan Steed, who co-founded the company more than two decades ago, admit they aren’t domestic abuse experts. So while they’re there to help victims change their living situations, they also bring law enforcement with them to each move.

One woman who used Meathead Movers in 2019 was Lori, a mom with two children who was fearful of her husband. After 11 years of that kind of treatment, she knew she needed to get out. Unfortunately, she had less than $100 to her name.

“I started to believe all the things he was saying about me for years and years and years,” she told Crime Watch Daily. “When I did decide to leave I wasn’t sure where we would live or where I would work. He was shocked because he controlled every aspect of my life.”

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“When a victim is trying to leave, what they’re doing is taking back their power and control. An abuser will do whatever they really feel they need to do to keep that power and control. And that’s when it’s most dangerous,” Beth Raub, of The Women’s Shelter Program, also told the publication.

Enter Meathead Movers, who came and helped Lori get all of her belongings and leave. “They definitely were my heroes that day,” the mom added, tearing up. “Just giving [my kids] their home back wherever we were, it was just amazing.”

How Local Businesses Are Setting Big Goals

three people looking at a laptop in a cafe
Photo by Tim Douglas

Lori’s story is not unique. The company has helped countless women over the years and works with eight shelters and organizations throughout central and Southern California. One center, the Marjaree Mason Center, revealed to CNN that the company helped them move 60 families in 2019 alone.

“It takes partners like Meathead Movers to step up,” Nicole Linder, the center’s executive director, told the outlet. “What I appreciate is that they challenged others to lead the way,” she continued. “It is imperative that businesses donate part of their time and resources so that survivors can lead a successful life.”

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That’s why Meathead Movers is challenging 100 other local businesses to step up by offering free services to those in need.

“There is no limit to ways in which people and businesses can contribute to the needs of victims and survivors of domestic violence,” Aaron Steed explained in a Q&A on the company’s official site.

“If you want to make a monetary donation to the cause, please contact your local domestic violence shelters, they can always use more assistance in that capacity. If you would like to provide services but aren’t sure how they will help, feel free to send us an email. We will be happy to brainstorm ways you or your business can help.”

How One Company Proves the Importance of Leading With Compassion

One reason this story is so heartwarming is that it completely flips the “meathead” stereotype. These muscular student athletes are intimidating and powerful, which coupled with law enforcement is exactly what you want in a situation where a domestic violence victim is trying to leave. But they’re obviously also a team of compassionate community leaders, and the world could use more people like them.

By embracing the idea of giving back to the community and leading by example, this company is inspiring and motivating more businesses to also put themselves out there to help those who need it most.

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You don’t have to be a business owner to make a difference, of course. As Steed himself said, services and donations to local domestic violence shelters are always needed and welcomed. It’s also important to remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone. If you are a victim, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And if you know someone who is going through that, be the support they need and help them get the help they need.

At the end of the day there’s strength in numbers, and nothing takes power away from a single abuser like a strong community coming together.

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