Our Approach and Model
The Women’s Safe House is a woman-defined advocacy environment. A woman-defined advocacy agency provides the opportunity for individual woman-defined advocacy to occur and does its own business in a way that is woman-defined. Our agency approach in working with battered women is to acknowledge and build on the woman’s perspectives and their responses to their partner’s power and control. The woman-defined advocacy environment does not clearly align with our foundational concepts of safety and empowerment. It does not ensure that battered women or their children are safe, but rather seeks to design alternatives that will enhance women’s safety, given the reality facing each battered woman. We offer the best community resources and options and attempt to partner and collaborate with the women in our program in making an informed decision, but ultimately – she decides.
The Women’s Safe House incorporates a public health strategy of violence prevention and intervention that focuses on ending violence through social change:
- Primary Prevention – Activities that take place before violence has occurred to prevent or reduce the possibility of an initial perpetration of victimization.
- Secondary Prevention – Immediate responses after violence has occurred to address the short-term consequences of violence and to decrease the prevalence after early signs of the problem.
- Tertiary Prevention – Long-term responses after violence has occurred to deal with the lasting consequences of violence.
There are two systems for classifying a public health prevention strategy, 1. the point in time when the intervention is implemented relative to when the problem occurs; 2. according to the population being designated for the intervention or, the targeted population approach. The Women’s Safe House utilizes a multi-level prevention strategy that attempts to address more than one level of prevention that intervenes for domestic violence survivors at different stages.
The Women’s Safe House’ Continuum of Care utilizes all three ranges of prevention and intervention strategies in its five programs: