Jenkins County Sheriff

What is Safe Haven?

Safe Haven is an emergency safe house for the victims of domestic violence and their children. Safe Haven is open 24 hour/ 7 days a week. The length of time residents stay is based on their personal plans and progress towards independence. There is no charge for the services provided to victims and their families.

Safe Haven is a non-profit organization serving Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Jenkins, Screven, and Washington counties. Safe Haven also receives residents from other counties and across the state, in special circumstances.
Support groups and classes for adults and children are provided at Safe Haven for residents, former residents, and other interested victims.

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic Abuse or Domestic Violence is any pattern of abusive behavior that an individual uses to control his or her partner. It can include hitting, kicking, choking, or some other physical assault.

But domestic violence can also be manipulative, emotional abuse. It could be isolating the partner from friends or forcing them to engage in sexual acts. It can be angry outbursts, verbal threats, or any continued behavior that ignores the partner’s wants and desires.

Our clients are not always married or even living together. Domestic violence can occur in high school and college dating relationships also.

Warning Signs of Abuse

Domestic violence knows no boundaries. All ethnic and racial groups are affected. All income levels are touched. No neighborhood is exempt from domestic violence.

In order to help a friend escape from domestic violence, you need to be aware of the warning signs of abuse:

• Have you seen your friend since she met her partner?
Very often, abusers use isolation to separate their victims from any support structure they otherwise would depend upon.
• Has your friend become hyper-critical of herself? Does she say that she is clumsy and stupid?
Victims begin believing their abusers’ insults and experience feelings of low self-esteem, worthlessness, and depression.
• Does your friend check-in with her partner excessively?
Abusers attempt to control their partners by forcing them to constantly account for their whereabouts, how much money they have spent, etc.
• Has your friend changed her appearance, dress, or habits drastically?
Is she acting on a whim or is her partner demanding that she alter her behavior to fit his demands?

Why Don’t They Leave?

People generally concerned about domestic violence often ask a tough question: Why don’t victims leave their abusers?

There are a number of reasons victims are hesitant to leave abusive relationships:

• Fear of getting caught trying to flee their abusers.
• Dependence upon their abusers economically or otherwise.
• Belief that their abusers will change.
• Concern for their child’s separation from their partners.
• Fear of being involved in a court process.

These and other reasons lead a victim to stay with an abusers. The isolation felt by a person who has been cut off from friends and family is intense and hard to escape.

At Safe Haven we are dedicated to making the decision to leave an abuser as easy as possible. We provide legal, emotional, TANF & Rural Advocacy to victims and their children.

What Can I Do to Help?

Be Aware of Abuse

Keep your eyes open for your friends; if you think a friend is in an abusive relationship, don't hesitate to offer help.

Be Supportive of Victims

For many of them, leaving their partner is a big, frightening step to take. They need to know that you will be there for them.

Tell Others about Safe Haven

Let people know that "there is a place to escape their abuse"; we are here and are ready to assist others.

Volunteer at Safe Haven

We are always looking for assistance in answering phones, working with the children, or assisting the professional staff. You will not handle crisis calls but we will provide training to prepare you for what you might encounter.


We receive funding from the United Way, state and federal grants, and private foundations. Many of these grants require local matching funds; with your contributions we are able to continue the work of Safe Haven.


Free and Confidential Services


Jenkins County Sheriff
Copyright 2010 Jenkins County Sheriff's Office. All Rights Reserved.