Deborah Anderson first visited Safe Harbor as a client in crisis, fleeing a violent marriage with her 3-year-old daughter in tow. Today, she is a volunteer, donor and advocate for our cause. In this interview, Deborah shares her journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor, from receiving Safe Harbor services to providing them for others.
What led you to seek services from Safe Harbor?
Deborah: I was led to seek services from Safe Harbor after my ex-husband of six years began physically abusing me. He had been controlling and verbally abusive before. He did not allow me to drive, and he was very jealous about my being in contact with other males, such as in class, or his own male friends. He was over-involved in my few jobs, and I ended up leaving them because of him and letters he wrote to my employers. He escalated to pushing me, once while I was holding our three-year old daughter, also kneeing me in the back, pinning me down and threatening to rape me, and pulling me back forcefully into our kitchen table. He threatened that if I went to the police, they would take away his guns, and then he would “really hurt me.” I had no one to turn to, as I had come to America from England, leaving all my family behind at age 18. I had moved straight from my mum’s house into his, and I had never lived alone. He ensured that I did not have any friends of my own. He was also a Licensed Master of Social Work, and when I did leave with our daughter, he tried to make me look as unstable as possible to those who knew us – telling people that I was a drunk, that I was depressed & mentally ill… the list goes on.
Yes – I stopped taking the abuse. One night he had kept me up all night during one of his episodes, and he finally went to bed around 5am. I called up a co-worker, and she picked me, my daughter, and our belongings up. My ex-husband knew where we were, so when I found out about Safe Harbor a few days later from a lawyer, I called for help immediately.
Safe Harbor's 2014 Fashion with a Passion will be our best yet! Get your tix today and save the date for March 6, 2014.
On June 1 at 8:15am, the eighth edition of the Safe Harbor Cycle Tour will roll out from the Civic Center in Iva, SC. It has become a yearly tradition for many cyclists throughout the Upstate and beyond. Crowds have…
by Julieta Barcaglioni-Heller, Safe Harbor Housing Assistance Program Manager
Families can become homeless for many interrelated reasons – unemployment, housing foreclosures, lower incomes, medical crises, and addiction issues. For groups like single women and women and their children, however, domestic violence is the most common contributing factor to becoming homeless and is currently considered the leading cause for homelessness.
Faced with a domestic violence situation, women and their children are often forced to move out of their homes to seek safety. At the same time, however, lack of affordable housing severely limits the victims’ options for safe housing and poses a major barrier to leaving. Due to the dynamics of domestic violence, victims are forced to choose between abuse at home and potential homelessness.
In addition to the aforementioned barriers brought on by the inadequate supply of affordable housing, victims of domestic violence face other difficulties. Victims often have poor credit records and employment histories because of the violence they have experienced. Landlords often discriminate against victims and subsidized housing availabilities are subject to long waiting lists. Women survivors may also potentially have to deal with other barriers including criminal history resulting from self-defense and stereotypes about survivors.
By MONICA KREBER, The Journal (Seneca, SC) - March 29, 2013 With strategic planning and a group of hard-working board members, Elisabeth Gadd hopes Safe Harbor can accomplish a lot. Gadd, president of Safe Harbor's 2013 Board, said the…
Becky Callaham, Safe Harbor's Executive Director, speaking at Safe Harbor's 03.01.13 press conference in Oconee County. With two new stories of brutal domestic violence in the headlines of The Seneca Journal this morning, today provides another sobering reminder of Oconee County's urgent need…
During Safe Harbor's 3/1/2013 press conference, Safe Harbor Board President Elisabeth Gadd announced that a generous Challenge Gift is being offered for Safe Harbor's Oconee Shelter Capital Campaign.