Archive for the ‘Safe Harbor News’ Category
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 grown each year and, though technically it’s a tour where folks are encouraged to come enjoy a ride through our scenic countryside, this ride has also attracted a wide range of serious cyclists and multi-sport athletes. It is a fun, fast and interesting course. Above all else, the Cycle Tour is for a very worthy cause.
The ride benefits Safe Harbor, a nonprofit organization serving victims of domestic violence and their children in Anderson, Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee counties. Safe Harbor provides shelter, counseling, advocacy, and support services for victims of domestic violence and their children, and domestic violence prevention and education for the Upstate community.
The Cycle Tour starts in Iva and then rolls into northern Abbeville County through hills that form the banks of the Savannah River, Lake Russell and Lake Secession. Then the course heads back into southern Anderson County where the terrain levels. This is Mennonite country and the roadsides are dotted with picturesque farms and country homes. The last ten miles start to roll again. There’s even one hill about seven miles from the finish that borders on being a genuine climb.
After the Cycle Tour, lunch awaits at the Iva Civic Center.
Riders can choose between three courses this year – 25-miles, 42-miles, or 65-miles (metric-century course). The $40 registration fee includes a t-shirt, lunch, snacks, SAG, and course map. Or, register for $110 for an event jersey as well. All proceeds from this event will benefit Safe Harbor. Register online at www.safeharborcycletour.org.
Come see why this ride was rated the best in the area. It’s the cause. It’s the course. It’s a great time!
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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 organization has been focusing on creating a five-year plan that will best serve the area (Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties). In this first year of the five-year plan, Safe Harbor hopes to focus on the Oconee County campaign and reach out to the community through counseling, shelter care, post-shelter care, advocacy and education – all meant to promote the mission of serving victims of domestic violence and their children.
“I think it’s very exciting,” Gadd said. “We’re working hard to move forward and I think we’ve made big strides.”
The organization has announced its 2013 board of directors and Gadd said the members are all “committed and dedicated” to the cause.
“I think it’s a great board,” she said. “It’s a hard-working board.”
The 2013 Board of Directors is as follows:
Elisabeth Gadd, Tri-County Technical College, president
Paul Ledford, Glen Raven Custum Fabrics, vice president
Julia Hoyle, The Arts Company, secretary
Deb Merrill, Delta Apparel, treasurer
Andrea Hopkins, Rosenfeld Einstein Insurance, 2014 president-elect
Hillary Andren-Wise, MacMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, 2012 past president
Becky Callaham, Safe Harbor, executive director
Ann Bible Batson, Josef and Stephen Salon & Day Spa
Lori Coon, Integrated Media Publishing
Renee Dunlap, NAI Earle Furman
Brian Hobbs, Tectronic Industries
Stacy Kuper, Acumen IT
Stephanie Page, House & Home, Seneca
Monica Rockwell, Cox, Cauley & Rockwell, PA
Tara Trantham, World Acceptance Corporation
Sherry Watts, Fabri-Kal Corp.
Vanessa Woods, TD Bank, Seneca
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 for a Safe Harbor shelter.
In the video above, Safe Harbor Executive Director Becky Callaham talks about the background, research and community support that has led us to this point in moving forward actively with a capital campaign to “put a stake in the ground” of Oconee County, raising funds to open a shelter for Oconee County victims and their children. We’re already well on our way in this campaign, thanks to the efforts, advocacy and ground work that has already been done by Jenna Henson, Martha Frady, Oconee Sheriff Mike Crenshaw and his passionate staff, Oconee County United Way, Oconee victim advocates, Safe Harbor’s Board of Directors and Oconee Campaign Cabinet, and many others. We are incredibly thankful for all of these dedicated individuals and also for those who have already given generously to our Oconee Shelter Campaign.
When we hear these stories of domestic violence in the news, we are horrified, outraged, frightened. But, it is even more frightening to when we recognize that many stories of abuse never make the headlines. One in four American women report that they have been victims of domestic violence, and yet there are many others who never report the abuse due to shame, fear, or other barriers. Many victims and their children are living in terror right now, silently behind closed doors. They need our help, too.
Please join us in putting a stake in the ground of Oconee County, providing a safe place for victims and their children to find hope…to discover peace…to rest safely…to start a new life.
Click here to learn more about our Oconee County Shelter Campaign or to make a gift online.
On Friday, March 1, Safe Harbor will hold a public press conference at 9:30am at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to announce the official kick-off of their Capital Campaign to raise funds for a 24/7 emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children in Oconee County. Safe Harbor currently has a contract on a facility in Seneca that will become Safe Harbor’s Oconee Shelter. Safe Harbor’s fundraising goal is $990,000, which will cover the cost of the shelter facility, as well as three years of operations and program expenses, insuring long-term sustainability for this new shelter in the Oconee community. The shelter will be staffed with a full-time shelter manager, a full-time shelter counselor, a full-time family advocate and rotating relief staff persons who will work on evenings and weekends to assure that staff is available and on-site 24/7.
Safe Harbor hopes to meet their $990,000 fundraising goal as soon as possible in order to insure that the Oconee County shelter is opened by 2015. If the goal is met sooner, then Safe Harbor hopes to open the shelter prior to 2015.
State & local elected leaders will speak at the March 1 press conference to address the issue of domestic violence and the need for services for victims and their children. Members of Safe Harbor’s staff and board of directors will also share details regarding plans for the Oconee Shelter Capital Campaign and will call the community to action in supporting this fundraising effort.
About Safe Harbor
Safe Harbor is a non-profit organization providing safe shelter, counseling, advocacy, and support services for victims of domestic violence and their children, and domestic violence prevention and education for the entire Upstate community. Safe Harbor currently operates two emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence and their children in Greenville and Anderson Counties. For more information on available services or volunteer opportunities, visit Safe Harbor at www.safeharborsc.org.
by Bobby Rettew, Principal of Bobby Rettew, LLC
Marge Putnam was truly missed at Ecoplosion this year. Many people knew Marge because of her warm personality. Many knew her because of her love for Clemson. Most knew her in the Upstate of South Carolina because she loved to be around people, connecting people, and sharing her compassion for her fellow man and woman.
This year’s Ecoplosion was held at Clemson University’s ICAR on January 24th, 2013. It was filled with high impact speakers sharing their entrepreneurial thoughts surrounding economic development and building stronger communities.
Marge Putnam was instrumental in the planning and execution efforts for the first Ecoplosion in 2012, a sold-out event that featured great entrepreneurs, innovative Clemson graduate students, and the Governor of South Carolina. Leighton Cubbage of Serrus Capital Partners said she was instrumental in cultivating the idea of Ecoplosion. Marge believed in connecting people and loved planning events like Ecoplosion.
This year, Ecoplosion was dedicated to Marge, in her memory. You may ask why? She lost her life because of an act of domestic violence. She came home on a Friday afternoon in July of 2012 to find her husband with a gun. He shot Marge then shot himself, killing both of them.
There is a need. Marge lived in Oconee County, a place where there is no place for victims of domestic violence to seek shelter. From all accounts, Marge had been experiencing some sort of domestic abuse for a while. Imagine a place where people like Marge could retreat from these situations, lay their heads down on a safe bed, and start rebuilding their lives.
Imagine this place. Can you see it? Can you picture it in your mind?
Ecoplosion is committed to building stronger communities. As Elaine Worzala shared in the video above, building stronger communities starts with building safer communities. Imagine if we the business community could surround Safe Harbor and help them build a stronger, safer community in Oconee County. A shelter for people like Marge.
Imagine this place. Let’s make it a reality! http://safeharborsc.org/how-can-you-help/make-a-donation
Ecoplosion Steering Committee
Principal of Bobby Rettew, llc
by Amanda Callahan, REP Educator for Anderson & Oconee Counties
“Why doesn’t s/he just leave?”
This is by far the number one question that people ask me as a domestic violence educator. There are so many difficulties and obstacles in leaving a violent relationship. My colleague, Julieta, wrote an excellent post about all the reasons that someone might stay in an abusive relationship, which you can read here: http://safeharborsc.org/blog/why-doesnt-she-just-leave/. However, even after a victim makes up their mind to leave, it’s not as simple as walking out the door or ending the relationship.
Would it shock you to know that one of the most dangerous times for someone in a violent relationship is the moment that they leave? In fact, it can be deadly.
It’s true, just ask Demi. She lost her life after she broke up with her boyfriend whose jealous and controlling behaviors became too much to handle. She was 16 when she was stabbed to death. Or, we could look at the recent murder-suicide in Oconee County that happened on January 5, 2013. Gwendolyn Hiott was found dead at her vehicle after being shot by her boyfriend in what appeared to be an attempt to leave. I use these two examples, but there are countless more. Not all situations end in death, but it is important to understand that victims of domestic violence are at risk for stalking, harassment, physical assaults, and deadly threats and homicide attempts, even after a break-up. Just because a victim ends the relationship, it doesn’t necessarily put an end to the abuse.
The defining characteristics of an abusive relationship are POWER and CONTROL. When a victim leaves a violent relationship, it is seen as an act of defiance to their abuser. After the abuser loses that control, sometimes they will do almost anything to get it back, including the ultimate act of control: taking someone’s life.
Subsequently, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that sometimes leaving a violent relationship may not always be the best option…at least, not right away. Sometimes it might be safer for a victim to stay until the safety plan to leave is foolproof. A safety plan is essential for leaving a violent relationship. Here are some basics of a safety plan: collecting and obtaining all the necessary documents for starting a new life (social security documents, ID’s, birth certificate, bank records, cherished pictures and memorabilia, etc.), planning the exact moment of escape, how and where you will live, children, dealing with common friends/family and how you will successfully avoid your abuser. The list of complexities grows quickly.
Then the moment arrives that the victim has been planning for. They are able to leave and leave safely. Can you imagine the fear and anxiety they must be feeling to have had to plan every single minute and detail of their escape, because they know how dangerous their partner is? They arrive at Safe Harbor and for the first time in years maybe, they are FREE. Free of the fear, the incessant worrying, the emotional abuse and torture. They are free of the corroded thinking, the distorted perspective that has clouded their mind and spirit.
That’s the first breath that Becky is talking about in this video. The first breath of air that is positive, loving, supportive, and nourishing to parts of their mind and body that have been deprived for so long. That’s the hefty and honorable task we have at Safe Harbor. We have to constantly strive to create an environment where our clients can achieve their first breath, free of abuse. We are up for the challenge. Are you ready to help? Learn more here: http://safeharborsc.org/how-can-you-help or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Samantha Tucker, Grants Manager, Safe Harbor
When I was 12, I was tired of being a tomboy and I wanted to be a cheerleader… to give bows and skirts a chance. Tryouts were a several-day process of learning one chant and one cheer (those are apparently two very different things), then performing them in front of a judging panel. Simple enough.
I started out overconfident – after all, I was a gymnast and I could tumble across the floor like a rock skipping across water. What more could it take? But as the time drew closer my confidence lessened. I suddenly felt less cute than the other girls, like I was wearing a costume. I felt out of place. I felt ill prepared. My nerves hurt my stomach and I thought I might cry.
I walked into the gym and the panic intensified. I froze. There I stood, ponytailed girls chanting all around me, my feet stuck to the ground and my lips pressed closed. It was awful. How had I gone from an easygoing athletic girl to someone I’d never known myself to be?
Jennifer describes being a victim as being in many little pieces without knowledge of how to put the pieces back together. What a powerful way to depict the experience. Having worked at Safe Harbor for eight years, I’ve never heard it phrased this way but it very much resonates with me. As I listened to her, I recalled that feeling from back when I was 12 years old – I’d known what I was capable of and what I needed to do. But those feelings of inadequacy, of fear, of insecurity, and of panic were so much stronger. They were completely debilitating. Read the rest of this entry »
We are excited to announce that a class of Clemson public relations students has partnered with Safe Harbor to help domestic violence victims in the Upstate. The class has entered us into the national Pepsi Refresh grant competition. We now need everyone’s help to vote online for our project to win $25,000. The top 10 projects (out of 1,000) with the most online votes in November will win the grant money.
The $25,000 grant will help purchase 30 new twin bed mattresses, install new carpet, and renovate the playground equipment at one of our shelters. These shelters house over 500 women and children each year who need temporary housing as they escape violent situations at home. After 15 years of housing families in crisis, our shelters need these renovations to better serve future families.
Here’s how you can help Safe Harbor win $25,000:
• Go to RefreshEverything.com/StudentsForSafeHarbor to vote now!
• Click the “Vote for this idea” and create an account with your email. It takes less than a minute to sign up, and you will not receive spam.
• Once you have voted, you do not have to register again, so vote every day through Nov. 30!
• Help us spread the word – get everyone you know to vote!
We are thrilled to have the support of this class, but we need everyone to vote daily to win this grant. Please pass the link to our project on to your friends and family to encourage as many votes as possible. Together, we can win the money to refurbish our shelter!
Safe Harbor was granted funds from the Office of Violence Against Women in early Fall 2009 to begin a Transitional Housing Program for victims of domestic violence. In January 2010, Safe Harbor began to serve the clients in our Shelter Programs by offering them the opportunity to participate in the newly formed Transitional Housing Program that serves 15 families within the 4-county radius that we serve (Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville). In this program, participants can choose from living in a housing unit provided by the Upstate Homeless Coalition, or they can choose to live in an apartment of their choice. In both phases of the program, the participants will receive rental assistance payments from Safe Harbor on a decreasing scale. For example: Safe Harbor will pay 100% of their total amount of rent and utilities if they live in an apartment, for 6 consecutive months; then Safe Harbor will pay 75% of the total amount, and the participant will be responsible for 25% of the total amount of her rent and utilities for the next consecutive six months. The transitional housing program will continue assisting the participant with her rent and utilities in this manner, gradually decreasing the amount of assistance each six months until the client is responsible for paying the total amount of her rent and utilities in full after a 2 year period.