A Little Time and a Keyboard: Interview with A Safe Place and Increased Protections and Services for Those Affected By Domestic Violence

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Interview with A Safe Place and Increased Protections and Services for Those Affected By Domestic Violence

Interview with A Safe Place and Increased Protections and Services for Those Affected By Domestic Violence

Interview with A Safe Place and Increased Protections and Services for Those Affected By Domestic Violence

A Safe Place is Lake County's largest domestic violence nonprofit and provides vital services and resources to those suffering from domestic violence. Do to the stay-in-place orders required to combat COVID-19, A Safe Place has seen a dramatic rise in clients needing emergency services. With these orders, victims of domestic violence are forced to shelter with abusers. So, this is a very critical time to share resources and help organizations like A Safe Place if you can. I recently interviewed Damaris Lorta A Safe Place's Chief Development Officer. 

Volunteer with donations for A Safe Place
Volunteer with donations for A Safe Place


What particular challenges are you finding during this time of staying-in-place?

Staying-in-place or at home is not the safest for our clients. People are forced to shelter in place with their abuser, increasing domestic violence cases. Due to the increase in cases. we are above capacity in all of our programs but me must continue to protect our most vulnerable and let them know we are here for them. To give an example of the increase in services, we went from providing emergency shelter to 33 individuals at a time to now having over 70 individuals in emergency shelter. We went from receiving 14 calls a week to now receiving 103 calls in one week. An increase in services has increased expenses and we have seen a decrease in revenue do to cancelation of events due to the pandemic and decrease in donations due to individuals not working or not able to donate the same as in previous years. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone.

How can you (an everyday person) best support someone -- neighbor, friend, family member -- that you know to be suffering from domestic violence?

One very easy thing that every individual can do is to share our information. Sharing our crisis line number 847-249-4450 may save somebody's life. We have staff answering the phones 24/7 and providing immediate resources to those seeking help.

Due to an increase in need and a decrease in donations, A Safe Place needs community donations now.
Due to an increase in need and a decrease in donations, A Safe Place needs community donations now.

How can the community support A Safe Place? Are there unique needs due to the pandemic?

Due to the pandemic, we have experienced an increase in expense and decrease in revenue. We need the community to support with monetary donations to be able to continue serving our clients with essential services. In addition to monetary support we need items such as: cleaning supplies, underwear - children, adults - all sizes, art supplies - these are give to children in our programs as a therapeutic tool in addition to connect with them even when we can't physically be with them.


Volunteer helping out at A Safe Place.
Volunteer helping out at A Safe Place.
I noticed that you have a program for teens. Can you discuss the Teen Talk program a little bit?

We do a lot of teen education ins school. Our talk with students includes: healthy relationships, red flags, cyber stalking/harassment and more. We also provide confidential crisis counseling for teens.

What is a service that A Safe Place has that the community may not be aware of?

A Safe Place is more than just a shelter. We have housing programs, counseling for adults and children and we also run the order of protection office located at the Lake County Courthouse. At this time, it is very important for the community to know not only what are services are but that we are OPEN, our services have not stopped.

A Safe Place provides the most comprehensive domestic violence services in Chicago, Lake County and Southern Wisconsin. A Safe Place continues to maintain it services during this time including counseling via teleconference, assisting with orders of protection, assisting with family visitations, assisting those fleeing domestic violence and so much more. If you know someone in danger, have them call the hotline at 847-249-4450  or email info@asafeplace.org. Thank you to Damaris for informing us a bit more on what A Safer Place does and how we can help.


Interview with A Safe Place and Increased Protections and Services for Those Affected By Domestic Violence

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