• Lifestyles

Safe Haven to Transition its services to Victims’ Intervention Program

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

MILFORD – After 28 years of service to the community Safe Haven, a Pike County nonprofit crisis intervention center providing support services to abuse victims, will close on October 31.

To ensure the continuum of care for victims and survivors, Victims’ Intervention Program (VIP) will continue to ramp up its services in Pike County.

“On behalf of all of those who have worked and volunteered for Safe Haven, I want to thank the community for your support. Without your dedication and passion to combat violence in our community, none of this would have been possible. Above all, we would like to thank the survivors who bravely take a stand against abuse and violence, who show us the true meaning of strength, empower us to speak up, and give hope and inspiration to others in similar situations. YOU are our true advocates and heroes! It has been an honor for Safe Haven to serve the community and we are proud of the legacy we leave behind.” – Christina Byrne, Safe Haven executive director.

Safe Haven was originally founded as Survivor’s Resources Inc in 1991 by Susan Meyer, Barbara Rudolf and Ingrid Warshaw, and it was Pike County’s first dedicated resource center for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Over the years, Safe Haven has launched many notable community initiatives, including:

- 2001: Opening Pike County’s first shelter for survivors fleeing domestic violence.

- 2003: Safe Haven enthusiast Cindy Stine formed what became known as RYOT (Rallying Youth Organizers Together) Against Rape program, a youth leadership program that gave students a voice to raise awareness about rape, dating violence and all other forms of abuse through theater. This grew into a state and nationally recognized premier prevention program for which she received a Vision of Hope award in 2011.

- 2011: Convened the first meeting of the Pike County Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence, which later became the Pike County Taskforce on Interpersonal Violence, a coalition of local professionals working together to develop and coordinate a unified community response to interpersonal violence.

- 2014: Safe Haven hosted the Tri-State Conference on Human Trafficking, a training for criminal justice agents and other helping professionals.

- 2016: Opened Pike County’s first Children’s Advocacy Center a model of trauma- sensitive investigations into child abuse cases that minimizes the trauma experienced by the child and preserves the integrity of justice.

Over the years, Safe Haven has grown to include free and confidential services to victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and other serious crimes, as well as their families and loved ones, including operating a 24/7/365 crisis hotline, empowerment counseling, legal and medical advocacy, and emergency shelter.

Safe Haven also had a robust community outreach and education program, including attending community-wide events, making presentations to community groups, and partnering with schools, scouts, youth associations, businesses, and local officials to educate children, youth, and adults on interpersonal violence in our community.

For 28 years, Safe Haven has represented the collective passion and vision of its committed founders, employees, donors, volunteers and board members, all of whom reflect the tremendous spirit of caring and community in Pike County.

“Victims’ Intervention Program has been providing services for victims of domestic and sexual violence since 2018 in Pike County,” added Michele Wolf, executive director of VIP. “We were fortunate that year to receive state grants to fund the programing that expanded our reach into Pike County. Originally VIP was established in 1988 in Wayne County, but has expanded over the years to serve more people. More recently VIP secured grants for new projects in Pike County, such as Civil Legal Representation and Medical Advocacy and we look forward to implementing these new projects and becoming an integral member of the community. We truly appreciate all those who have welcomed us into Pike County and are pleased to announce that we have hired a few of the staff from Safe Haven. For those moving on to other endeavors, we wish you all the best.”

About VIP

Victims’ Intervention Program provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other serious crimes. Some of the services offered include 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, medical and legal advocacy, legal representation, emergency shelter, risk reduction programs, school counseling, and many others.

Services at VIP are confidential and at no cost to the recipient. VIP strives to educate the community about violence, empower victims and survivors to make the best choices for their individual situations, and invite the community to envision a world without violence Victims’ Intervention Program was founded in 1988 as a grass roots organization made up of a handful of volunteers. Victims’ Intervention Program is a 501c3 organization, which relies heavily on its fundraising efforts as well as volunteers from the community. Over the years, Victims’ Intervention Program has grown to best meet the needs of the community. VIP has added new programs and services to support the holistic approach at helping victims and survivors. Initially VIP started as a crisis agency. While crisis intervention services are still a fundamental part of VIP’s services, they now also offer many post-crisis services.

Individuals in need of these services can call Victims’ Intervention Program at (570) 253-4401 or visit them online at www.vipempowers.org.

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