I have a yellowed newspaper article taped to my desk titled “Why settle for mediocrity?” Although I haven’t read the article in years, the message greets me each day when I sit down at my desk. It challenges and inspires me.
This past year, Safe Harbor has done some introspection by looking at how we can be better and therefore, do better. Our desire to do our very best many times feels so overwhelming because South Carolina continues to rank number one in the nation for deaths of women by men. However, every day I am reminded about why this work matters. Most days, I have an opportunity to see and hear from individuals whose lives have been untangled by the chaos of abuse and who get to see their own worth, sometimes for the first time.
We owe it to you, to our clients, to our community to do our best, to bring our “A” game and to show up with excellence.
Now that we have passed the halfway mark of 2016, I’m excited to share what we’ve learned and done so far:
Our Prevention team has been working closely with Tulane University to create a research based evaluation to improve the effectiveness of our dating violence curriculum. With this information, we will be able to determine trends and nuances related to dating violence. Additionally, REP, our Relationship Education Project, has developed its curriculum to work more closely with middle school students. We know that when we reach kids earlier, we have a better chance of influencing them to develop more healthy relationship attitudes and behaviors. Each year, Safe Harbor has increased our investment in our prevention program because we know we have an opportunity to change the generational culture of domestic violence for South Carolina. Stay tuned for more updates from REP and follow as we glean insights from teens and hone into how we can better decrease the future numbers of domestic violence
In 2016, Safe Harbor adopted a Trauma Informed Services model for our entire agency. For the past several months, we have been learning together how developing a culture of trauma informed care influences all that we do as an organization. From counseling services to our finance team, we are grappling with how we can provide the very best and helpful interactions with each individual who seeks our services. We know that, for each victim of domestic violence who contacts us, it’s a pretty bad day that has been preceded by sometimes long term trauma and fear. A trauma informed services model replaces the question, “What is wrong with you?” with “What happened to you?” and paves the way for victims to create their own unique path toward healing and survivorship.
Our ManUPstate initiative, with generous funding from Greenville Women Giving, has partnered with the national #beadad initiative to further promote how men can make a difference in the lives of their kids. Check out all the cool videos on ManUPstate’s facebook page that were a part of our social media marketing campaign, reaching thousands of men and influencing a culture of healthy masculinity.
Lastly, we are number ONE! Well, at least our Resale Store is. The Safe Harbor Resale Store, located in Greenville at 2111 North Pleasantburg Drive was voted 2016’s Best Thrift Store in the Upstate by Greenville News readers. Our store’s vibe is cool and funky and has the best clothes, furniture and accessories. The best thing is that when you buy from us or donate to us, you are literally helping change someone’s life. Our clients shop at the store for free and sales to the public go to the prevention, intervention and community advocacy we provide for the Upstate. Drop by the store and tell our manager, Kim, congratulations and then tell your friends about the great deals. Oh, and if you “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, you can access coupons and discounts.
I know this blog post has been long, but we have been busy at Safe Harbor and I am just so excited to let you know what we’ve been doing and learning. The issue of domestic violence, especially in SC, can be daunting and overwhelming. But, for the staff, board and volunteers of Safe Harbor, the challenge is worth it. It’s worth it when we hear someone say that they have found hope—in our shelter, in our administrative/outreach office, in our store or on the crisis line. We owe it to you, to our clients, to our community to do our best, to bring our “A” game and to show up with excellence. Thank you for supporting us to do just that.
Peace to you,