Dear Safe Havens Community,
At Safe Havens, we stand at the intersection of faith and abuse. When people find out what we do, they are often moved to tell us their stories of life at this intersection.
One woman shared that faith was part of her life from the beginning. Unfortunately, after she married, abuse was also part of her life. After many torturous years, she left the marriage. It was then, when she needed her faith community most, that she was told to leave her congregation. They disagreed with her decision to seek safety.
We have heard these heartbreaking stories again and again through the years. Across the U.S., more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually. How are their faith leaders and faith communities showing up for them?
Faith leaders and faith communities are not ill intentioned. In fact, a recent study showed that 81% of faith leaders want to support survivors of abuse. They simply have not received any training or resources to know how to be supportive, safe, and effective.
Safe Havens worked tirelessly in 2022 to change that. Through trainings, resources, and technical assistance, we reached about 900 faith leaders and faith community members. We partnered with Esperanza United to better meet the needs of Latin@ communities. We celebrated the work of Dr. Oliver Williams of the African American Domestic Peace Project and Isa Woldeguiorguis and Deborah Collins-Gousby, who co-chair the Massachusetts Women of Color Network. We continued to train about elder abuse, and hosted a moving vigil. All this in the midst of a tight budget that has been hit hard by Covid and other economic challenges.
We have big plans for 2023 as well, and we need your help. Your donation will help us train faith leaders, raise awareness, build community support networks, develop innovative responses, increase access to safety, and nurture long-term change. It’s a tall order! We are counting on you to support this much-needed work. Together, we can create safe and supportive spaces for people in our congregations who are experiencing abuse. Together, we can be safe havens.
With many thanks in advance for your generosity and support,
Anne Marie Hunter, Co-Director
Alyson Morse Katzman, Co-Director
To make a donation online, please visit https://www.interfaithpartners.org/donate.