Safe Alliance Provides Safety, Connection and Healing to Abuse and Assault Survivors
Written by Grace Kennedy
This month, SHARE Charlotte is talking all about their nonprofit partners that keep our neighbors and loved ones #SafeFromHarm. Charlotte-based nonprofit Safe Alliance does this and much more, serving more than 10,000 women, men, and children in our community each year. The organization’s mission is to provide hope and healing for people impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. How do they accomplish such a huge task? Through safety, connection and healing.
With more than 35,000 domestic violence-related calls coming into Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police every year, safety is clearly an essential need in our community. Safe Alliance creates detailed safety plans with people in abusive situations, helps survivors obtain protective orders, and offers 24-hour sexual assault, rape and domestic violence crisis lines (704.332.2513 for domestic violence, 704.375.9900 for rape/sexual assault). The agency provides safe sanctuary for an average of 109 adults and children each night who are in imminent danger, at the Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter.
“When our clients feel safe and supported, they find they can accomplish most anything with hard work,” says Carol Shinn, Director of Community Engagement for Safe Alliance. “One of our clients said that being able to sleep soundly at night was her greatest accomplishment,” she adds.
The team at Safe Alliance knows that safety is just the first step in the journey of abuse and assault recovery. Connection is key, and Safe Alliance connects clients to a comprehensive continuum of resources, including emergency shelter, employment services, educational opportunities, and even legal representation.
A Safe Alliance team member perfectly describes the importance of connection on safealliance.org: “Our clients, who not only dare to imagine a different life for themselves and their children but also take those first terrifying steps to make that dream a reality, desperately need us to stand in solidarity with them as they transition from victim to survivor. Nothing is more devastating to a perpetrator than community.”
The impact of abuse can be both visible and invisible, and counseling is a crucial bridge to recovery. Safe Alliance offers trauma counseling for adults and children, as well as support groups specifically geared toward teens, caregivers and survivors.
Safe Alliance’s programs focused on safety, connection and healing equip survivors with the tools to move past abuse and focus on achieving their dreams. And the sky is the limit for abuse survivors – one former Safe Alliance client was recently accepted into a doctoral program.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Government and United Way funding along with corporate and individual donors make all of these life-changing programs possible. Safe Alliance also relies heavily on volunteers to help achieve its mission. Learn more about becoming a donor here, and find out how you can volunteer here.
“The most rewarding part of my job is that I’m able to witness the thousands of people who rally on our clients’ behalf,” says Carol. “Whether they volunteer, attend awareness events, or donate much-needed funds, Mecklenburg County is full of wonderful people who care about their neighbors in crisis.”
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, help is available at www.SafeAlliance.org or through the Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Hotline, 704.332.2513.
Grace Kennedy is a Huntersville-based nonprofit writer, editor and proofreader. Learn more about her services at www.gracekennedy.net.