Join Everyday Law as we discuss A Safe Place with Executive Director, Pat Davenport. As you may know, A Safe Place provides emergency shelter and transitional housing to survivors of domestic violence, but this episode will surprise you with the scope of all of the other initiatives that the organization has undertaken to fulfill its mission.

Who Uses “A Safe Place”?

Pat Davenport is the executive director of A Safe Place, an organization in Lake County devoted to assisting survivors of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is an issue affecting 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men. A Safe Place provides a range of services to the survivors who reach out to A Safe Place including services for crisis and safety, healing and building, intervention and separation and prevention of domestic abuse.

What Services Does “A Safe Place” Offer?

A Safe Place has a 24-hour crisis telephone line operating 365 days a year. Davenport stated that on average it takes up to 7 or 8 telephone calls from a survivor to a crisis telephone line for the survivor to leave the abuser. Volunteers who staff the line use open-ended questions to allow the caller to take the lead in determining what assistance the caller needs. If it is determined that the caller needs help, A Safe Place can provide emergency shelter for the caller, along with their children or pets, if needed. In addition to emergency shelter, A Safe Place can provide transitional and permanent housing.

A Safe Place offers counseling which is critical to healing. There is family therapy, individual counseling, support groups and art therapy. Counseling is even available for the abuser. Another service provided by A Safe Place is visitation for non-custodial parents with their children.

A Safe Place has 8 locations in Lake County. Among these locations is an office in the Lake County Courthouse near the Domestic Violence Courtroom. Staff and volunteers there assist individuals with orders of protection and other services.

Prevention of abuse is another service provided by A Safe Place. Volunteers and staff from A Safe Place visit middle and high schools and talk to students about healthy relationships. This outreach is especially important in the age of social media and 24-hour texting.

How Is “A Safe Place” Funded?

To fund all of these services, A Safe Place engages in a number of fundraising events including a 5K Run, golf event, wine event and a dinner dance. Half of A Safe Place’s funding is from the State of Illinois. Because of state budget problems, A Safe Place has had difficulty in serving all the clients who request services in recent years. Thus, A Safe Place is working to diversify its funding, so it is not so reliant on state funds.

An additional outreach project for A Safe Place is a Partnership for A Safer Lake County. This is a network of 42 organizations working together to prevent abuse and violence in Lake County. Among the issues this partnership seeks to address are abuse of the elderly, children and the LGBTQ populations and human trafficking.