Saturday, September 01, 2007

Story for Safenet in Rogers County

The car door slams. “He’s home,” she thinks, as she hurriedly examines the house to make sure every thing is in the right place. The key turns in the lock ~ fear rushes up her spine. She pastes a smile on her face gathering the courage to turn and welcome him home ~ all the while remembering the night before. He greets her with a dozen roses like so many other times. Was it a dream? No ~ she feels her arms under the long sleeve shirt and winces, it was no dream ~ the night before was real.
The resonating voice of anger lingers in the mind of an abuse victim. Fear of another episode keeps them in constant trepidation. They have been told over and over again they are unworthy of love, attention and courtesy, as one blow after another impacts their bodies. An abuser will find one excuse after another to inflict pain and fear and those who live with them suffer both mentally and physically.
There is a way out. Victims of abuse do not have to continue to live in constant fear of another violent explosion. Safenet provides an escape route. They counsel on how, when, where and what to do. They can provide shelter and will help with protective orders to keep the abuser away. According to Susan Wolfenbarger, Safenet volunteer coordinator, domestic abuse spans the spectrum in age, ethnicity, gender and social scale.
She explained, “One of the most difficult tasks of humanity is to become free from the cycle of abuse. Many abuse victims feel stuck because they are afraid of being alone, or out of fear that if the abuser finds them horrible consequences will be reaped.” The sole purpose of Safenet is to make available a safe environment for abuse victims.
The Attorney General recently certified Safenet; this certification takes the abuse program out from under the umbrella of mental health and places them within the realm of the Attorney General’s office. This move further gives credence to this fact ~ Abuse is a Crime. “We now have staff in the courthouse who takes the lead in filing protective orders and other court related issues victims encounter,” said Donna Grabo.
In addition to paid staff, Safenet has a great volunteer base that allows programs like the Victim Advocacy Program, Counseling, Parenting Classes, Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center, Sexual Assault Advocacy, and the Second Impressions Resale Boutique and Outlet to continue. “Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization,” said Susan. .
In October, the staff will honor volunteers like “Betty” who several years ago found herself on the corner with only the clothes on her back. She received help, encouragement and direction from Safenet. Now that she has her feet on the ground, she gives back by volunteering. Cole Butler who has 26 years experience with the Tulsa Police Department, volunteers a couple hours a week, “It’s the right thing to do”.
Susan said, “We have over 150 volunteers and every month utilize fifty or more, there is always something to do”.
Safenet is a United Way Agency. The Safenet organization still needs benefactors and volunteers to raise funds for a new 25-bed facility used as a domestic abuse shelter. Safenet is applying for grants that need matching funds. The funding program is called, “Have a Heart… for Those That Have Broken Ones”.
For More Information Contact
Safenet Services
(918) 341-1424
Crisis Line (918) 341-9400

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