Many survivors face multiple forms of abuseWritten by The SAFE Alliance
A couple months ago, Catelyn joined SAFE’s Teen Parent and Emergency Care program. Barely old enough for high school, she had recently given birth to a healthy baby boy.
Catelyn grew up in a physically abusive household and had survived years of sex and labor trafficking before fleeing to SAFE.
Historically, victims’ services have been segregated by the type of violence perpetrated or the age of the victim, creating artificial silos of service that are less effective. Silos like domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and trafficking fail to take into account what research and our own experiences at SAFE have shown — that the multiple forms of violence and victimization are interconnected.
In our Grove Boulevard campus, Catelyn received therapeutic services to help process the trauma that comes with sexual and domestic violence as a child. At the same time, our Strong Start program provided one-on-one parenting support to make sure she had the tools to take care of her baby and avoid continuing the cycle of violence.
All the while, Catelyn’s case manager worked to get her and her child into a loving foster home. Foster homes can be incredibly hard to find for teen moms who have their children in their care — many homes are not looking for teenagers, let alone a teenage mom and her young child. Catelyn was told that it could take a long time for a suitable home to become available.
Thankfully, a great home opened up less than two weeks later. The family met Catelyn and her son in their home.
The family’s kindness, openness, and patience made Catelyn feel at ease. Days later, they moved in with their foster family.
Catelyn has already enrolled in high school and is looking forward to catching up on her education.
Why The SAFE Alliance?
We founded SAFE to better address the cycle of child, domestic, and sexual violence. A long history of viewing these interconnected issues in silos has resulted in diminished resources, capacity, expertise, and funding streams.
In order to improve the effectiveness of violence prevention and intervention services, a more comprehensive and collaborative approach is required. SAFE was created with that goal in mind.
Identifying details have been changed to protect the survivor.