A Letter From the Director

December 21, 2016

When I worked as a counselor in the Safe Harbor shelter, I remember one particular Christmas season when four year old “Stevie” arrived with his mom, “Katherine”. Stevie’s biggest desire was to go to school with a backpack. Even though he wasn’t old enough to go to school, we gave him a superhero backpack. He wore it everywhere. I will never forget the pride that Stevie had when he walked through the shelter with his backpack.

Katherine returned from the store one afternoon and explained that she was going to temporarily take Stevie’s backpack away from him. Apparently, Stevie had stuffed some candy in his backpack without her knowledge. As she removed the backpack from his hands, Stevie yelled a vicious stream of expletives while kicking and slamming his head on the floor. It was clear that, although he had not been physically abused, Stevie had witnessed countless incidents where his dad behaved similarly.

In October, Safe Harbor started our very first Child and Family Therapy program to serve moms and their children together. This new program helps survivors better understand the trauma that their children have experienced and guides moms to encourage their children’s unique coping process. Our therapists work to disrupt the cycle of violence by offering a safe space for children to heal while also strengthening a healthy bond between each child and their courageous mothers.

I often wonder about Stevie. He would be a young adult now. My hope is that his experience of safety, hope and reassurance at Safe Harbor helped to build a brighter future for him.

This Holiday Season, You Can Help give families like Katherine and Stevie the fresh start that they need to live lives free from fear of abuse.

Will you join us this holiday season in giving to Safe Harbor? Your investment will not only provide safety and hope for adult victims of domestic violence, but will also assure that their children will be seen, heard, and gently ushered into their own critical healing.

You won’t regret this gift, I promise.

 

Peace to you,

Becky

Becky Callaham, Executive Director for Safe Harbor

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“I didn’t know that I was being abused...

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth

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