Our story is about hope. The transformation that happens to families served by Safeplace who regain their independence, find themselves, and get their lives back is just breathtaking. The change is an emotional triumph that inspires a new beginning and a new life. The turmoil, stress and fear that plague someone who has been beaten down emotionally and physically by the person who was supposed to love them can be seen in the faces of the families who come through our doors. The life that comes back in their eyes, faces, and body language is also undeniable.
Our vision is to live in a world where family and intimate partner violence does not exist. We are pro-healthy relationship and approach all of our services with that goal in mind. So, what is the reality of meeting our mission? To me, it is serving the victim of domestic violence who has breast cancer whose husband did not allow her to go to the doctor, who put wart remover on the tumors when they began to grow through her skin-who Safeplace helped to find freedom and peace and empowerment in her last 6 months of life. It is the little boy who hides in fear when his father gets home from work—fear that his parents will fight—fear that his mother will be beaten—fear that yesterday’s rules won’t apply to today—and then the hope of a future without violence when I hear him outside playing and laughing because he is safe. It is the man in the Peace Program who is there on his 3rd domestic violence conviction. He is deaf and has several mental health issues because his father kicked his mother in the stomach when she was pregnant with him.
We see the cycle of violence continued, but we also witness the light bulb that comes on when he starts to be accountable for his abusive behavior and begins to learn that he can only control himself and that abuse is a choice. It is the woman on the other end of the phone line, who has heard for the first time that the abuse is not her fault, that someone believes her, they are afraid for her safety and they will help her to plan a safe escape. It is the survivors who have reclaimed their lives, identities and independence because the team of people at Safeplace stood by her side every step of the way. It is the 42 people who are in shelter today and the ones we can guarantee will need shelter 5 years from now. It is the victims who died at the hands of the person who vowed to love them. It is the family who comes to shelter for the 4th time, the one that comes for the 1st time, and the one that never has to come back.
If you or someone you know is being abused, call our 24 hour help line: 1.256.767.6210 or 1.800.550.9215