I don’t ever intend to get political on this blog. I don’t like hearing about politics and don’t see the need to bring any of that into this public forum. I will, however, post about what I consider to be a good cause from time to time–and I believe Safe Horizon is one of them.
According to the organization’s website, their mission “is to provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.”
From their media kit:
Safe Horizon is the nation’s leading victim assistance organization and serves over 350,000 people each year who have been touched by violence. Whether we are responding to child abuse, domestic violence, or other violent crimes, we help victims and their families heal and rebuild their lives.
Safe Horizon takes action by providing practical services like a new lock, 24-hour hotlines, safe shelter and food as well as supportive services like mental health counseling. Our dedicated staff offers compassionate, expert support, helping victims find hope by offering a chance to tell their story in their own words, a guide through the criminal justice system, a safe place to sleep.
Our services are models for programs across the country and around the world, and our staff provide critical technical assistance, education and training to service providers, government organizations, corporations and the media worldwide. Our experience for over a quarter of a century gives us a credible voice for leading change in systems, policies, and legislation. We are recognized as national leaders and are sought out as experts on violence and victimization.
Safe Horizon also raises awareness of issues of violence and abuse, and its impact on the home, the workplace, and communities. Through speaking engagements, media outreach and integrated public awareness campaigns, Safe Horizon reached more than 100 million people in 2006, educating the public and inspiring them to take action to help move victims of violence from crisis to confidence.
Providing 24-hour Lifelines to Crime Victims
Safe Horizon offers compassionate, expert services through our three hotlines: the New York City Domestic Violence Hotline; the Sexual Assault, Rape, and Incest Hotline; and the Crime Victims Hotline. More than 200,000 victims of crime and abuse call Safe Horizon’s 24-hour hotlines each year. Hotline crisis intervention specialists provide callers with support and access to emergency lock replacement, shelter and referrals to a comprehensive array of services that can further assist them.
Helping Victims of Domestic Violence
Safe Horizon offers help and hope for victims of crime and abuse and their families, including crisis intervention, safety planning, education, advocacy, emotional support and counseling. Victims can access our services throughout the city â€“ from our borough-wide community offices, to the family and criminal courts, to our counseling center and our Streetwork drop-in center for young people on the streets.
Safe Horizon is the largest provider of domestic violence emergency housing in the nation. In addition, our staff are stationed at police precincts across the city to assist police in responding to domestic violence calls. Our Domestic Violence Law Project also helps victims of crime and abuse obtain orders of protection and pro-bono legal assistance in divorce cases and custody matters.
Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace
At Safe Horizon, we know that domestic violence impacts the lives of thousands of working women and men every day and affects the financial strength and success of the companies for which they work. Through education, training, public awareness and innovative initiatives, SafeWork is a national movement to challenge corporate leaders to recognize domestic violence in the workplace and take action to address it. Since October 2005, SafeWork has reached more than 140 executives at 70 companies. In January 2007, Safe Horizon will launch SafeWork 2010, an initiative to secure the commitment of 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs by 2010 to join the SafeWork movement and pledge to one of ten ways to keep their employee safe and protect their bottom line.
Supporting Victims of Stalking
Safe Horizon was the first organization in New York State to develop services that focus on the unique needs of victims of stalking, including crisis intervention, risk assessment and safety planning, short-term individual counseling and emotional support, advocacy within the criminal justice system, and assistance with the documentation of stalking incidents. Safe Horizon also offers victims of sexual assault and their families emergency and practical assistance, advocacy in the courts and accompaniment to grand jury, and individual and group counseling.
Helping Families and Individuals in the Courts
In more than 30 Family and Criminal Court offices throughout the five boroughs, Safe Horizon provides crisis intervention, counseling, legal assistance and advocacy for those in need of orders of protection or help with court-ordered restitution. Safe Horizon’s Children’s Centers provide free, supportive, educational child-care for child victims and witnesses who must appear in court. The Families of Homicide Victims Program’s advocates keep families apprised of criminal proceedings and provide them with long-term individual and group counseling services. In Brooklyn and Manhattan, Safe Horizon mediation programs provide dispute resolution services outside of the court process.
Helping Communities and Individuals Impacted by Crime and Abuse
Safe Horizon Community Offices offer crisis intervention, practical support, information, education and referrals, individual and group counseling for victims of any type of crime or form of abuse. Safe Horizon’s Counseling Center, the only New York State-licensed treatment program for victims of crime, provides mental health services to address the long-term effects of trauma.
Helping Children Lessen the Trauma of Abuse
Safe Horizon’s Child Advocacy Centers operate in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island and provide a safe, child-friendly environment to minimize the trauma of the investigation of child sexual and physical abuse. These centers house representatives of the New York Police Department, Administration for Children Services, the Safe Horizon Child and Family Victim Assistance Unit, Offices of the District Attorneys and representatives of Child Abuse Centers from area hospitals.
Helping Youth Prevent and Cope with Violence in Their Lives
Many youth are victims of gang violence, bullying, and child and relationship abuse. They witness domestic violence and are exposed to violence in their community. Safe Horizon youth programs provide an opportunity to increase self-esteem and reduce the violence in their lives through school-based programs that teach students, teachers and parents conflict resolution skills, one-on-one peer education, mediation, and leadership development. Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project provides homeless and street-involved youth with social services and resources that promote health and safety for this population.
Easing the Pain of those Impacted by September 11th
September 11, 2001 was a defining moment. Thousands of people had family and friends who died in the Twin Towers. Thousands lost their homes and jobs. Millions more lost the sense of security they’d always known. They needed help, and the City couldn’t do it alone. Safe Horizon was one of the most effective responders to the tragedy, as the City and State turned to us to provide concrete assistance and emotional support for the victims. We helped set up the Family Assistance Center, and we were first to offer immediate financial assistance. We quickly came through with crisis and grief counseling, housing assistance and emergency compensation for funeral expenses. Safe Horizon still offers services for survivors, families and communities affected by the attacks, from individual counseling sessions to group sessions for community groups and corporations.
Providing Advocacy and Assistance for Victims of Trafficking
Safe Horizon offers a lifeline for victims and survivors of human trafficking, offering a range of services including intensive case management, shelter, legal services, and mental health care. From the point of rescue until the stabilization, our case managers work with trafficked persons to explain their options and provide access to needed resources. We coordinate efforts with local and Federal law enforcement, to ensure that victims’ needs are addressed and that the criminal justice system holds traffickers accountable. Safe Horizon also operates the New York City Anti-Trafficking Network, a coalition of diverse service providers whose mission is to combat trafficking and ensure trafficked persons’ needs are recognized and addressed, and Safe Horizon staff are sought out as experts on this issue by organizations around the world.
Facts and Stats about Safe Horizon :
Each year Safe Horizon helps more than 350,000 victims of violence move from crisis to confidence
Provides 24-hour Lifelines to Crime Victims
– We respond to over 182,000 calls on our Safe Horizon Domestic Violence, Crime Victims and Rape and Sexual Assault Hotlines. Average Response Time: 10 seconds.
– We provide nearly 15,000 links to shelter through our Domestic Violence Hotline.
Helps Victims of Domestic Violence, Stalking, Trafficking and Rape
– We provide emergency shelter to more than 3,100 children and families fleeing domestic violence.
– We provide support and advocacy for nearly 50,000 victims of domestic violence.
– We counsel more than 3,000 stalking victims about safety planning and legal remedies.
– We investigate more than 5,000 cases of child sexual or physical abuse.
– We help over 1,300 rape and sexual assault survivors.
– We provide counseling and support services to more than 200 refugees and victims of torture.
– We provide expert support and guidance in an average of 60 cases of trafficking.
– We train over 175 executives at more than 75 companies about the impact of domestic violence on the workplace and how to address it.
– We issued $3.6 million to more than 50 community-based organizations, increasing their understanding of domestic violence and expanding our expertise into underserved communities throughout the city.
Helping Children and Youth Prevent and Cope with Violence
– We teach close to 400 workshops on violence prevention to over 1,200 middle and high school students across the city.
– We reach over 12,000 students and adults in school communities throughout New York City to promote messages of safety and support.
– We make approximately 15,000 outreach contacts with homeless and street-involved youth on the streets.
– We distribute 35,000 meals and provide practical services and counseling to more than 2,000 homeless youth.
– We provide lifesaving compassionate services to 26,000 children.
Helping Families and Individuals Impacted by Crime and Abuse
– We assist 50,000 individuals with court orientation, criminal justice advocacy, emergency financial assistance, and referrals.
– We provide more than 22,000 meals and free, supportive, educational child-care for children while their parents or guardians attend court.
– We install new locks in the homes of more than 2,100 crime victims within 48 hours of their requests.
– We counsel more than 400 individuals and their families who have been victims of crime and abuse.
– We provide intensive legal representation in nearly 3,000 new cases, including cases of orders of protection, U Visas, trafficking visas, custody, visitation, and child support.
– We provide nearly 4,000 hours of trauma-focused therapy for children and families.
– We conduct more than 1,350 court-mandated sessions for convicted batterers, to encourage them to be accountable for their violent behavior.
– We provide direct services to over 11,500 crime victims through dozens of police precincts throughout the city.
– We counsel an average of 1,000 children, adults and families who lost loved ones to homicide and violent crime.
– We help more than 11,000 clients peacefully resolve their disputes through mediation and provide mediation training to nearly 3,000 representatives of city agencies and community-based organizations.
If you’re interested in helping this organization or becoming more involved, check out their website at http://www.safehorizon.org/ You’ll be glad you did!