Plant the Seeds of Hope
From Hopeless to Hopeful
For thirty-seven years, HAVEN has been dedicated to eliminating domestic violence and sexual assault through treatment and prevention. As the only comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault center in Oakland County, we know that the consequences of abuse can be fatal. But we also know that success is possible. And with the creation of the new home for HAVEN, we look forward to a future when we all can say, in the words of one survivor: “I am no longer victimized. I am victorious!”
In Michigan, every third home knows intimate partner violence firsthand, and 40% of women 16 and older have experienced some form of sexual violence, from unwanted touching to forcible rape. Over 150,000 households in Oakland County alone directly experience domestic violence or sexual assault, across all socio-economic levels.
To put it into perspective, about 1% of people in the United States are homeless and 11% go hungry. But 33% are not safe in their own home.
HAVEN has done extraordinary work within our limited resources, serving 30,000 people each year. Still, in our best-known program, the free residential shelter, we turned people away 770 times last year due to a lack of space – a 20% increase over the prior year. These are among the most vulnerable, who have found the courage to reach out for help. And while we can help them with other services, having a safe place to stay is an essential part of the healing process. Which is why our top priority is to replace our existing shelter.
A Nurturing Environment
We have identified an innovative, proven model for our services that will be unique in the state of Michigan. This model – pioneered in San Diego in 2002 as the Center for Family Justice (FJC) – has been adopted by communities in 33 states and 3 foreign countries.
It has proven to:
• reduce homicides;
• increase victim safety, autonomy, and empowerment;
• reduce fear and anxiety for victims and their children; and
• reduce recantation and minimization by victims.
At its core, a Family Justice Center model provides one place where victims can receive all the support they need, and can plan a clear path to safety and healing for themselves and their children.
An abused woman with children who is financially dependent on her abuser faces a multitude of needs from a maze of sources, which frequently includes:
• police and prosecutors;
• criminal and civil legal aid;
• court advocacy;
• physical and mental health care;
• psychiatric care and treatment;
• child care and schooling;
• child protective services;
• documentation, such as birth certificates;
• basic living expenses;
• food assistance;
• temporary and permanent housing; and
• employment and education.
Now, victims must often travel from place to place to seek services that are scattered throughout the County. They have to tell their story over and over again to representatives of different agencies, reliving the nightmare of being abused or raped, in addition to completing form after form. During such a vulnerable time, this system can frustrate victims and make them lose hope of ever being helped.
Visibility is Our New Ally
Based on the FJC model, the new home for HAVEN will wrap victims in security, services and support. It will provide a central location for adults and children to access the care, information, and tools they need to move beyond their abuse and live violence-free lives. Where victims can escape danger, talk to a court advocate, secure a personal protection order, and plan for their safety and that of their children.
Your Support is the Root of Hope
Safety is a fundamental human need, as much as food and shelter. The new home for HAVEN will provide the foundation to meet that need now and for future generations. At the same time, this new home is more than just a building. It is a new way for HAVEN to work. A way that will allow us to not only make a greater impact on the lives of those we treat and educate, but also on the lives of everyone throughout our entire community. Thus putting us closer to our ultimate goal of eliminating domestic violence and sexual assault for good.
For more information on the campaign and ways to give, please contact HAVEN Director of Development & Capital Campaign, Rachel Decker at (248) 334-1284 ext 344 or email@example.com, or HAVEN President & CEO, Beth Morrison at (248) 334-1284 ext. 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to those who have already made a commitment to our Capital Campaign (list as of 7-25-2012).