February Shout Out: SafeHouse Denver

February Shout Out: SafeHouse Denver

Posted on January 29, 2013 by josh in About VSN

SHcolorSafeHouse Denver is committed to providing prevention and early-intervention services to youth experiencing or at risk of experiencing dating violence. In 2011, SafeHouse Denver reached 428 teens through either ongoing teen dating violence prevention and intervention groups or educational presentations about dating violence. In groups, participating youth explore definitions of dating violence, warning signs of abusive behavior, affects on children and how to access support or help someone in need.

 

In addition to addressing unhealthy characteristics, the groups also identify attributes found in healthy dating relationships.  Teens, for example, are given resources such as the Dating Bill of Rights which informs them that they have the right to, among other things, ask for a date, refuse a date and set physical, emotional and sexual boundaries.  By utilizing these tools, it is our hope that youth will be able to recognize warning signs of dangerous behavior and model new and healthy practices to their families and peers.

 

Through our educational presentations, one-on-one counseling and support groups many youth in our community are learning that they have the right to be happy, respected and safe and that there is support available to them. SafeHouse Denver is committed to reaching youth in this way, not only in the month of February, but throughout the year.  To learn more about Teen Dating Violence and how you can support youth, visit www.breakthecycle.org or www.loveisnotabuse.org.iStock_000010280186Small

 

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Established in 1977, SafeHouse Denver is the only agency in the City and County of Denver that provides both emergency shelter and nonresidential counseling and advocacy services to victims of domestic violence. As part of its mission to assist adults, children and youth in reclaiming their right to a life free of domestic violence, SafeHouse Denver also runs a 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line, (303) 318-9989, and offers community education throughout the Denver metro area to help empower communities to prevent, reduce and effectively respond to domestic violence. For more information on programs and services, as well as giving and volunteer opportunities, please call (303) 318-9959 or visit www.safehouse-denver.org.

 

 

Brief Description of Organization:

 

Established in 1977, SafeHouse Denver is the only agency in the City and County of Denver that provides both emergency shelter and nonresidential counseling and advocacy services to victims of domestic violence. As part of its mission to assist adults, children and youth in reclaiming their right to a life free of domestic violence, SafeHouse Denver also runs a 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line, (303) 318-9989, and offers community education throughout the Denver metro area to help empower communities to prevent, reduce and effectively respond to domestic violence. For more information on programs and services, as well as giving and volunteer opportunities, please call (303) 318-9959 or visit www.safehouse-denver.org.

 

iStock_000012387352_ExtraSmallTestimonials:

 

Karen’s Story

When Karen came to the SafeHouse Denver emergency shelter for the first time, she only stayed one night. She was concerned about leaving her cat behind and the impact leaving would have on her two young children. She left the next day but kept her Advocate’s card close by.

 

Two months later, Karen and her children arrived back at shelter. This time, she was ready to leave her abusive relationship but she knew she needed help.

 

Prior to coming to SafeHouse, Karen was the victim of severe verbal and emotional abuse. Her husband would not allow her to work nor have access to their finances. He reprimanded her for comforting their young children when they were upset, undermining her role as a parent, and had been abusive to their cat. Karen didn’t even have keys to their house, and therefore had to get permission to leave her own home.

 

Extreme isolation had kept Karen in the relationship and unaware of the resources for survivors of domestic violence in the community. When she arrived at shelter the second time, her Advocate described her as a different person. “Karen,” she shared, “was like a sponge, soaking up any and all information and resources we could provide.  Free from the violence in her life, she regained her independence and was very motivated.”

 

During her stay at shelter, Karen was able to connect with legal services to file for a protection order and received medical care for herself and her children. She also connected with an employment agency, found a meaningful job and was eventually able to move into an apartment of her own. Karen and her children continue to receive services at our nonresidential Counseling and Advocacy Center.

 

Julie’s Story

As a young adult, Julie, a native of Vietnam, moved to the United States to attend college and quickly found herself married to a man nearly twice her age. After a move, her husband refused to allow her to continue her studies and made excuses about why he wouldn’t allow her to work despite her intellect and competence. He closely controlled their finances, listened in on her personal phone calls and began to physically threaten Julie.

 

After connecting to SafeHouse Denver through the 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line, Julie started working with an Advocate at the Counseling and Advocacy Center to process the abuse she had faced and to begin to rebuild her sense of self and independence. After divorcing her husband and safely leaving the relationship, Julie has returned to school, is working in the hospitality industry and connected with a faith community.  She has started group counseling at SafeHouse and is, step by step, reaching her goal to “get myself back.”