Safe Exit
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What to Expect From a Domestic Violence Program

What to expect if you call a program:

  • A caring listening ear. All programs have people who can listen and help you sort out options. 
  • Advocacy services. Most programs have specially trained advocates who can help with welfare, CPS, disability services, immigration, housing, employment protections, and more.
  • Emergency shelter. Many programs offer shelter or safe homes. 
  • Transitional housing. Some programs have longer term housing for survivors.
  • Support groups. Some programs run groups for children, youth and adults.
  • Legal advocacy. Most programs offer information about protection orders and other civil matters. Most do not provide legal counsel, but can refer you to free or low cost attorneys.
  • Crisis services. Many programs offer 24-hour crisis services.

What to expect if you go to an emergency shelter:

  • Shelters are free — no fees are charged to stay.  Many shelters have time limits for how long you can stay.
  • Most shelters have shared kitchens, common areas, and bathrooms.  Shelters provide the food but if you have special dietary concerns (i.e., gluten-free, allergies), you should let the staff know. 
  • If you have children, you will probably all share one bedroom.
  • If you are alone, you may have to share a room.
  • You are responsible for taking care of your own children.
  • All shelters must welcome service animals.
  • However, most shelters cannot accommodate pets. Many will work with you to make arrangements to have your pets cared for elsewhere.
  • Shelters have laundry facilities and supply linens (sheets, towels and blankets).
  • Many have emergency clothing and toiletries available for the first few days of a stay.
  • You will be asked to honor the privacy of other residents by not discussing their names or situations with anyone else.
  • Shelters are concerned about everybody's safety, so you may be asked to keep the location a secret.
  • Visitors are generally not allowed.
  • Shelters can be stressful---you will be in a group living situation with others who are experiencing tough times too!


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We envision communities fully engaged to provide safety and to give a voice to all affected by domestic abuse, while creating the social change necessary to address its root causes. We honor the wisdom and strength of domestic abuse survivors across the lifespan. Our mission is achievable through survivor-centered work that includes strategic partnerships and collaboration. As advocates for social justice, we embrace the voices of diverse communities.