“He loves me too much. I know it will stop. It’s only one hit. How can he or she do this and they claim they love me?” Someone affected by domestic violence may believe that abuse will only happen once and all of a sudden it will stop. The sad and alarming reality is that it usually doesn’t. According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.” No matter what age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status, you can be still be affected by domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which focuses on bringing awareness to this constant problem that affects millions of adults and children. The Safe Center LI is an organization that works very hard to combat this issue by assisting victims dealing with domestic violence and creates a “safe haven” for them while they try to get back on their feet.
The Safe Center LI was created back in 2014 with the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect merging into one unified agency to provide a fast and easy path to resources that assist in saving and changing the lives of the victims of sexual assault, severe physical abuse, and domestic and family violence. Prior to the merge, each of these non-profits had been serving the community for over 30 years.
“Each person who lost their lives to domestic violence is called “Silent Witnesses.” The head of The Safe Center LI spoke in depth about why they are called that. “We list the names of the victims who lost their lives to domestic violence and call them that because they know what they were going through and were unable to fight for themselves or speak up about it.”
Jessica Wallace is the Campus Sexual Assault Coordinator at The Safe Center LI and spoke in great detail about how they classify domestic violence and and how rampant it is with college students. “We try to use umbrella terms such as “relationship violence” or “interpersonal violence” when we teach people about domestic violence, as “domestic violence” is sometimes perceived as something that only happens to married couples. However, any type of relationship can be abusive, including those between romantic partners, friends, or family members. 1/3 women and ¼ men have been victims of some form of physical violence in their lifetime. Women between the ages of 18-24 are the most common group to be abused by a partner.” Many college students come to The Safe Center LI and are able to speak to a counselor. There is also a Special Victims Unit with detectives that collect evidence of someone who may have been sexually or domestically abused. “The Safe Center uses client-centered and trauma-informed practices to best help survivors of domestic violence. We offer counseling, advocacy, emergency housing, and legal services which can all be accessed by contacting our hotline number. All of our services are free and confidential, “Ms. Wallace said.
The Safe Center LI creates a safe haven with counselors that they can talk too with no judgement. If people don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist, Mrs. Wallace suggests that they call the hotline. “If a person is being abused or suspects that they are in an abusive relationship, they are encouraged to call our 24/7 confidential hotline at 516-542-0404. There will be somebody on the other end who can talk them through their concerns and help them establish a safety plan if they need it. This number can also connect them with services such as counseling and advocacy.”
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, please recommend The Safe Center LI or call their hotline number 516-542-0404.