This contains the voice of the author. While against AMAN's style guide, I felt it was important to speak anecdotally when talking about Project Safe.
Project Safe works to end domestic violence through crisis intervention, ongoing supportive services, systems change advocacy, and prevention and education in the community.
As the US began social distancing and isolating ordinances in response to COVID-19, I started reflecting on a relationship I'd ended about three years ago. A partner and I had just made the move from long distance to sharing a home space together when they began physical control: My thoughts and actions were not allowed without their permission. I remember the night they grabbed the collar of my shirt and pinned me, letting me know they could kill me. Had time been different, had a pandemic broke out, had I been confined to my house with that person--I don't want to think about what would have happened.
While I didn't have to access Project Safe during that time because of privileged circumstances, right now, we all know there's a new element: With social isolation that involves abusive domestic partners, abuse can escalate. Project Safe services that are currently available are their Hotline at 706-543-3331 and their Textline at 706-765-8019. These are being answered by an advocate 24/7. There is an emergency and confidential shelter for survivors of domestic violence. To access this service, please call the hotline 706-543-3331.
During the time of social distancing, Project Safe is conducting remote advocacy meetings. Their Outreach Center advocates are conducting meetings online for clients who need support with a domestic violence situation, but do not need confidential shelter. Things you might discuss with an advocate: filling out temporary protection orders or connecting to resources in the community such as mental health care or financial assistance. To access, please call the hotline 706-543-3331.
From the Project Safe website: "Founded in Athens, GA first as a network of safe houses, and later as a confidentially located emergency shelter and hotline, Project Safe has expanded over the years to better meet the needs of those seeking to put the pain and horror of abuse behind them. Today, our services range from short term crisis counseling on the hotline to long term support through our Follow Up and Rapid Re-Housing programs. Although the majority of our clients come from Athens and the surrounding area, we’re a routing point for a national hotline and assist women and children from across Georgia and out of state."
Thanks everyone. Keep loving each other; keep checking in.