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
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
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,
• Does your friend check-in with her
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
• 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
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.