Posts Tagged ‘safe harbor’
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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!
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.
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
Press Release from the United Way of Oconee County:
Join us as the United Way of Oconee County, in partnership with Safe Harbor, holds a public meeting to discuss and answer questions concerning domestic violence in Oconee County. This meeting is open to the public and will take place at the United Way Center (409 E. North 1st St., Seneca SC) in downtown Seneca on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. FREE Childcare services will also be provided.
The United Way of Oconee County and representatives from Safe Harbor will be joined by local officials and representatives from law enforcement to identify domestic violence, where to go in our community for help, and how you can help someone experiencing violence. There will also be an update and information on establishing a safe shelter in Oconee County.
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 Julie Meredith, Safe Harbor
“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
- Trina Paulus
Four years ago, Safe Harbor was blessed with the opportunity to create a new “brand” that clearly defines and depicts our mission. With the expertise and dedication of Jami Mullikin and Cara Sanders Robb of Hill Mullikin Marketing and Jay Kirkman of Radii, Safe Harbor’s logo became the symbol of a butterfly, along with a new tagline: “Safe Harbor – A Safe Place to Start a New Life”.
As we were considering symbols for our new logo, we wondered if the butterfly might seem too “happy” or too “light”. We worried that it wouldn’t clearly reflect the depth and weight of the important work that we do -providing safety and intervention for victims of domestic violence and their children. The issue of domestic violence is heavy and frightening. So, how could a butterfly represent this complex, horrific problem that our clients and their children have experienced?
But, as we thought about it and discussed it further, we realized that our logo should not necessarily be a symbol of the issue that we address at Safe Harbor. Instead, our logo should represent what a victim and her children have the chance to discover during their time with us at Safe Harbor. Hope. Opportunity. Transformation. New Life.
One of my favorite books is Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. It is a children’s book that tells the story of a caterpillar named Stripe who feels that there must be more to life than just eating leaves. In his journey, Stripe meets Yellow, another caterpillar who is searching for life’s meaning. They end up parting ways for a while in their journey. During this time, Stripe continues to search for life’s meaning, while Yellow follows her instincts and spins a cocoon. She eventually emerges from the cocoon transformed into a butterfly and flies into the sky. She has found the real answer to the feeling that there must be more to life than eating leaves and who caterpillars really are. She shows Stripe her empty cocoon, and he eventually realizes what he needs to do. Stripe spins a cocoon and starts the slow and transformative process from being a caterpillar to becoming a butterfly.
Safe Harbor is a safe place to start a new life. It is a place where our clients can learn who they are and what their true potential is. It is a place where victims and their children can learn that there is more to life than just trying to survive. It is a place where a victim can start the slow and transformative process from being a victim to becoming a survivor. It is a place where healing can begin. It is a place of Hope. Opportunity. Transformation. New Life.
The butterfly represents who we are and who our clients are at Safe Harbor. Every day, I am thankful for this powerful symbol of new life.
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 »
Safe Harbor and the Solicitor’s Office of the 10th Judicial Circuit will hold a press conference on Friday, July 13 at 1:00pm on the steps of the Oconee County Courthouse in Walhalla, SC.
Safe Harbor is deeply saddened by the news of the two murder-suicide incidents that occurred in Oconee County last weekend, killing victims Marjorie Putnam and 11-year-old Riley Nicole Dyer-Tippett.
These stories are especially alarming and upsetting for our organization as we continue to see an increasing need for additional resources for victims of domestic violence and their children, especially in Oconee County. Safe Harbor provides services for victims of domestic violence in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties.
Currently, Safe Harbor has 2 shelters – one in Greenville and one in Anderson. Safe Harbor has been working on increasing our capacity to open a third shelter in Oconee County. Due to a decrease in funding support from VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and a growing increase in the demand for victim services, Safe Harbor needs increased support from the Oconee community now more than ever. In order to start a successful capital campaign towards building an Oconee shelter, Safe Harbor needs the Oconee community to join in recognizing domestic violence as a priority issue.
The horrific stories of the Putnam family and Tippett family remind us how imperative it is that we gain support from citizens, faith communities and businesses of Oconee County in order to provide a safe and confidential shelter where Oconee victims of domestic violence and their children can receive the support they need to start a new life free from violence.
Safe Harbor has seen a 25% increase in our numbers of shelter clients over the past 3 years. In 2009, Safe Harbor provided shelter for 543 people (327 women; 241 children); in 2010, Safe Harbor sheltered 623 people (398 women; 225 children); in 2011, Safe Harbor sheltered 714 people (447 women; 267 children) and had to refer 197 victims to other agencies due to lack of bed space.
Safe Harbor’s goal of opening a shelter in Oconee County would undoubtedly save lives of victims and their children in the Upstate of South Carolina. Today, however, we grieve alongside the family and friends of Marjorie Putnam and 11-year-old Riley Nicole Dyar Tippett.
Safe Harbor Executive Director, Becky Callaham, and the 10th Circuit Oconee County Assistant Solicitor, Lindsey Simmons, will hold a press conference on Friday, July 13 at 1:00pm on the steps of the Oconee County Courthouse in Walhalla, SC. They will make statements in lieu of these recent tragic deaths, encouraging the community to rally together to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence and to support Safe Harbor in its effort to open a shelter for victims and their children in Oconee County. Safe Harbor invites community members and members of the press to attend in order to raise public awareness about this issue.