SAFE’s experienced team of certified advocates are committed to providing confidential, non-judgmental support to all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Advocates can help with safety planning, referrals to local, state and national resources, assistance with navigating both the criminal and civil justice system, 24 hour crisis response for law enforcement sexual assault calls, and much more.  The first question asked by our advocates is “How can I best support you?”

SAFE’s advocates work from a trauma-focused, empowerment model which believes that every person has the capacity to make the best decisions for their own situation. This may include the decision to leave or stay in an unhealthy relationship, to participate or abstain from participating in the criminal justice system, and other choices unique to their particular situation. Advocates assist with exploring available options for the survivor in an un-biased way, and encourage the survivor to choose the option best for them. Learn more about the empowerment model in the “policies” section of this website.

Safety planning unique to individual situations is provided for all who seek services or assistance.

Columbia County Advocacy Sites

DHS Child Welfare

Advocacy with the Department of Human Services Child Welfare department to help non-offending parents navigate the complex and sometimes overwhelming system of DHS.

DHS Self Sufficiency Programs

Advocacy with the Self Sufficiency office to assist survivors applying for the TA-DVS (Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors) grant, and folks who have disclosed to their Self Sufficiency worker that they do not feel safe in their home.

Vernonia Health Center

Did you know relationships affect physical health? As new research emerges about the link between unhealthy relationships and poor health outcomes, the need for advocates in healthcare settings is becoming more clear. A SAFE advocate is onsite in Vernonia once a week to provide safety planning, consultation, and support groups for the Vernonia community.

Rural Outreach

A SAFE advocate supports survivors, offers safety planning and support groups, and meets for consultation weekly in Rainier and Clatskanie. Advocacy currently is by appointment only in Rainier and Clatskanie.

Emergency Rooms

SAFE advocates are trained and prepared to respond to emergency rooms in Portland and Longview to help survivors explore their reporting options after a sexual or physical assault, inform survivors of their rights, and provide emotional support when undergoing a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam.

The Starting Place Shelter

The guests of The Starting Place can meet with an advocate on-site during office hours to discuss resource referral, long-term housing, emotional and physical safety planning and other needs.

SAFE’s shelter, The Starting Place, provides temporary refuge for adults and their children seeking safety from domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking. On average, SAFE provides refuge for 70-120 people per year. The shelter provides dormitory style housing in a confidential location. The shelter is first-come, first-served, and a screening must be completed before intake. Those seeking assistance can complete or schedule a screening on the phone by calling our 24-hour help line at 503-397-6161 or 866-397-6161 and speaking with an advocate.

State and local legislative advocacy

SAFE and its affiliates are always working to advocate for the rights of survivors of violence at all levels. Staff participates in lobby days, sits on state and local task force’s and boards, and offers training and assistance throughout the state of Oregon.
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Last modified: November 19, 2021

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