Decrease domestic and sexual violence
SAFE’s mission is to address the fundamental need in our community to decrease domestic and sexual violence and its impact in Ravalli County, Montana through the provision of direct services to survivors and their children and by working to minimize those conditions that support violence against women.
In 1987, the members of the Hamilton Soroptimists, a women’s service club, identified a need for our community to provide safe havens for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Members of the Soroptimists educated themselves about the dynamics and effects of domestic violence, began staffing an emergency hotline and developed a network of safe home. This network, originally named Family Violence Services, has grown into an organization, Supporters of Abuse Free Environments – SAFE – that offers a variety of services, programs and activities designed to create a violence-free community.
Originally organized to provide for the immediate safety and security of those experiencing domestic violence, SAFE continues to have a primary focus on creating immediate and long term safety for survivors and their children. Over the last thirty years, we have also expanded our programs to work directly on decreasing those issues and conditions that create barriers to safe and self-directed living for individuals and families experiencing domestic or sexual violence-issues such as poverty and homelessness. SAFE also works to prevent domestic and sexual violence through community education and public awareness activities and facilitates community and systems level work with the goals of increasing survivor safety and offender accountability.
To achieve our mission, SAFE staff, board and volunteers implement a variety of programs, services and activities utilizing the following core values:
We create an environment of physical and emotional safety for survivors, staff members, and our community by implementing policies and supporting conditions that assure physical safety. We work toward safety by encouraging collaborative efforts to create a healthy, violence-free community, encouraging the respectful exchange of ideas and valuing diverse viewpoints.
We recognize, respect and protect the right to confidentiality for all survivors, staff, and others involved with SAFE.
We encourage empowerment through education, recognition, and appreciation of other’s strengths and by respecting the rights, opinions, and choices of survivors, staff, volunteers and community partners.
We support inclusiveness by providing services to all survivors and by accommodating and honoring cultural, social or physical differences among survivors, staff, board members, volunteers, and community members. We recognize the benefits of a diversity of voices working together to end violence against women.
The integrity of relationships among SAFE participants is central to our work. Our responsibility is to honor that trust by creating and maintaining a policy that is consistent and true to the organization.
We maintain fairness by making sure all decisions take into account individual circumstances and decisions are made collaboratively with those involved.
Mary Lyn, Chair
Brian Cherry, Vice Chair
Carolyn Larsen, Secretary
Chris Taggart, Treasurer
Robin Pruitt, Member
Kate Duggan, Member
Shelane Hughson, Member
Sherrif Steve Holton, Member