GET IMMEDIATE HELP
Seek medical attention if you have physical injuries. Do not shower or change your clothes. This is very important. Not only because you may have hidden injuries that require immediate attention, but also to detect possible pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease or evidence of your attacker. If you have been raped, contact HAVEN START program for a forensic exam or go to your nearest emergency room if you have physical injuries needing attention.
Find a safe place. This means anywhere away from the attacker. Go to the nearest hospital or police station or a friend’s or family member’s house. If you can’t leave your home, ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support.
Remember, it is never too late to seek help. Even if the sexual assault took place years ago, eventually you will need to deal with the fears and feelings in order to heal. HAVEN can help you handle the anger, fear or denial you may be feeling.
Residential Program Information
The HAVEN residential program is Oakland County’s only 24-hour emergency shelter exclusively for domestic violence or sexual assault victims and their children. Access to our shelter is available only through the Crisis and Support Line. The shelter location is “semi” secret, making it more difficult for batterers to find their significant others.
Who Can Stay at The Shelter?
Domestic violence or sexual assault victims and their children. This includes emancipated minors, but not children without a parent. If you are a child without a parent and you are seeking help, our staff can assist you with finding alternative resources. The shelter also includes men who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who are afraid to stay in their own homes.
What If The Shelter Is Full?
When the shelter is full and unable to house someone, staff assists the client with finding alternative safe housing. We are forced to deny shelter to more families than we house because our current space is not large enough to meet the need.
How Long Do I Stay There?
The stay at our shelter is approximately 30 days, although exceptions can be made under extenuating circumstances.
What Happens In The Shelter?
While in the shelter, residents are provided with counseling and assistance with finding permanent housing. Help to obtain financial assistance, medical care and long-term counseling is also offered. The counselors in the shelter are trained to advocate for residents in financial matters, housing and other needs of daily living. They hold group and individual sessions to empower residents to put their lives back together.
What About My Children?
It’s traumatic enough for an adult to experience domestic violence or sexual assault. Imagine being a child and having those experiences. Imagine not being old enough to even understand what is happening. Some children don’t have to imagine; they are experiencing it firsthand.
At HAVEN, we make sure our programs, shelter, counseling, everything we do, helps your children feel safe, secure and loved through this difficult time.
We offer specialized programs and activities for children who stay in our shelter. They are also enrolled in public schools and can attend group and individual counseling.
What Does It Cost?
There is never a fee for the shelter services, crisis line support, counseling services or a START exam.
DECIDING TO LEAVE OR STAY IN A VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP
Whether or not you have decided to leave the person who has hurt you, it is important to have a plan of action in case of an emergency. Here are some helpful tips for preparing a planned exit:
- Decide and plan where you will go if you have to leave home (even if you do not think you will need to). This should be a safe place from which you can call for further assistance.
- Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
- Have a packed bag ready and keep it in a secret place that is easy to reach. Leave money, an extra set of keys, extra clothes, and if you can, copies of important documents with someone you trust.
- Open a savings account in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence.
- Keep the crisis line phone number close at hand or, better yet, memorize it. Keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls.
- Look for a safe computer at work, the library or a friend’s house where your Internet history can’t be viewed.
- Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your abuser.
Documents to Bring With You
Every bit of information helps. Try to bring as many of these documents with you as you possibly can:
- All bank account numbers, credit union and 401(k) information
- Extra safe deposit box key and info
- Copies of car titles, last 3 years’ income tax returns
- Deeds to joint or individual property
- Copies of outstanding loans, amount of monthly payment
- Joint and individual credit cards with balances. Get your name removed from joint cards if possible
- Pay stubs for at least 2 months
- Copies of your and the abuser’s signature cards at the bank, CDs and bonds
- Copy of any Personal Protection Order (PPO)
- Copies of all insurance policies, wills, trust fund or pension fund information
- Abuser’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, work address and number, addresses and numbers of friends, criminal history, license plate number and recent pictures
- Unless an attorney advises you not to, if you leave, take all personal assets and half of all joint assets (i.e., bonds, checking account, credit card)
The journey to healing and regaining control of your life continues well after those initial moments of making that first call for help, getting medical treatment or leaving an abusive partner. The feelings of anger, resentment, humiliation or fear can continue to have an impact on a survivor and her or his loved ones.
To help with the ongoing healing process, HAVEN offers more than 20 support groups for survivors and batterers. For more information, or to register for a group, please contact HAVEN at (248) 334-1284.
Survivors of Domestic Violence
A combination of educational and support groups for survivors of domestic violence. These groups are ongoing and meet once a week for an hour and a half.
Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault
There are two groups. The first is an 8- to 10-week educational group focusing on the issue of being an adult survivor. The second is an ongoing support group for those who have completed the first group.
Teen Women’s Support
A group specifically for teenage women who have suffered trauma from dating violence, sexual assault or child abuse.
WAVE (Women Against Violent Encounters)
An “Emotions Management” group for women to help them identify and express emotions related to domestic violence.
Survivors of Sexual Assault Support
A support group for female survivors of sexual assault.