Safe Harbor

with Sandra Allen Lovelace  @SandraALovelace  #WallflowerWomen  #TimetobeYOU!

Welcome to the second offering in our Year of the Wallflower theme. We’ll highlight various ministries and events that encourage women to discover their God-given design and learn to enjoy our unique purpose. The transformation path is harder for some than others and Safe Harbor, this month’s highlight, is a local outreach that supports the It’s Time to Be YOU! adventure in a powerful way.

According to the 2010-2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey of the CDC, more than 27% of women and 11% of men experience physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking by a spouse or intimate partner in their lifetime. In 2016, the Violence Police Center ranked South Carolina as the #6 state in the nation for women killed by men.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviors in which one person exerts power and coercion over his or her spouse or intimate partner. This pattern often starts gradually , making early red flags difficult to detect. An abusive spouse often masks controlling behaviors as a form of love or protection. However, as the relationship continues, their controlling behaviors typically escalate, causing the victim to feel increasingly powerless, fearful, and trapped.

Many forms of abuse are used to gain and maintain control in a relationship—physical abuse (pushing, slapping, beating, use of weapons), sexual abuse (sexual activity by force or threat, lack of ability to give honest consent), emotional abuse (put-downs, humiliation, mocking, degrading self-worth), psychological abuse (intimidation, isolation, minimizing/denying abusive behaviors, controlling activities), financial abuse (controlling finances by withholding access to accounts/information, destroying partner’s credit), spiritual abuse (twisting religious beliefs or scripture to exert power or justify abuse), and technology abuse (e-tracking partner’s whereabouts via phone or GPS, cyber-stalking, overseeing partner’s email or social media, etc.). As the abuser acquires more control, he/she progressively diminishes the power of his/her spouse or partner. Thus, the target’s ability to seek safety, resources, and help in the midst of domestic abuse becomes complex and dangerous.

Safe Harbor’s mission is to provide a continuum of services for victims of domestic abuse and their children, and to eliminate cultural acceptance of domestic violence through prevention, education, and a coordinated community response. Safe Harbor serves the four-county area of Greenville, Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in the Upstate of South Carolina. Services for survivors of domestic violence and their children include: emergency safe shelter, counseling, advocacy, educational classes, and group support. All services are voluntary, confidential and free of charge.

Safe Harbor’s 24/7 help line is available at 1.800.291.2139. Select option 1 to speak with a Safe Harbor representative. An individual seeking shelter, counseling or other services will be asked a few brief questions to determine how Safe Harbor can provide assistance. Additional community resources may be offered as needed.

Safe Harbor welcomes all community members to join in as we fulfill our vision to influence a culture where all people feel safe and valued in their relationships. To find out more or get involved, click on the appropriate links below.

To learn more about our mission, vision, and services.

To hear words of hope and strength from survivors, more hope and strength.

To find out about volunteer opportunities.

To shop or donate to our Resale Shop.

To  donate items or monetary gifts.

To stay connected: Safe Harbor’s blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

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