Safe and Empowered: OneEighty’s Approach to Domestic Violence Safety Planning
Prioritizing Practical Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence
When it comes to support and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence, two remarkable individuals have been tirelessly working to make a difference in the lives of those affected by this deeply troubling issue. Gayle Byrne, a dedicated OneEighty Victim Advocate, and Tina Zickefoose, Advocate/Outreach Specialist, are equally passionate about helping victims. They support OneEighty’s aim to provide practical support to survivors of domestic violence – prioritizing the practical support they need to reclaim their lives and move beyond the trauma they’ve experienced.
In small communities where everyone knows everyone, maintaining confidentiality can be challenging. To address this, OneEighty offers flexible meeting options, such as meeting at libraries or other locations, to ensure clients’ safety and confidentiality. OneEighty understands the need for discretion, and they do not always require clients to provide their names when seeking assistance.
Gayle explained understanding the importance of confidentiality when dealing with sensitive issues like domestic violence and sexual assault: “First of all, we’re not attorneys, so we’re not permitted to give legal advice. We are a support system and an organization designed to give support and resources.” Gayle and Tina went on to explain that OneEighty’s goal is to create a safe and secure environment for survivors to seek help and support without fear of judgment or breach of privacy. “What is said to us is confidential. However, we are mandated reporters if someone discloses abuse of children, so abuse of minors, of the elderly, and of developmentally disabled folks – we’re obligated to report to the authorities,” Gayle added.
Safety Planning for All Scenarios
Safety planning is a critical component of OneEighty’s support. Gayle and Tina explained that one of the key elements of OneEighty’s approach is comprehensive and individualized safety planning. It’s a misconception that safety planning is solely focused on helping survivors leave an abusive relationship. “We know that when a person decides to leave, that’s the most dangerous time in the relationship,” Tina explained. “And that’s when 70% of homicides happen. So, we’re not just safety planning for somebody to leave. We’re safety planning as well for those that are choosing to stay,” Tina added. Recognizing this reality, OneEighty does not pressure survivors to leave but supports them in making their own choices.
OneEighty aims to empower survivors with information about their living environment, ensuring they know where the exits are and how to navigate their homes safely. Safety planning is not about forcing someone to leave; it’s about providing them with the tools to minimize harm and risk within their current circumstances. “One of the reasons we will never tell someone to leave is because this is a person who has had all the power and control taken away from them, and we’re trying to empower them to give them back some type of control over their life,” Tina asserted.
Raising Awareness About Non-Fatal Strangulation
OneEighty is committed to educating the community, law enforcement, and survivors about the significant issue of non-fatal strangulation in domestic violence cases. “We take this matter very seriously. Our team actively promotes awareness of the signs and symptoms of strangulation, ensuring that survivors and professionals are informed about this critical aspect of domestic violence,” Gayle asserted. Tina explained that Ohio was the 50th state to enact laws making strangulation a felony: “I never dreamed it would take almost ten years, or that we would be the last state to enact it. It is a felony now, and it’s considered attempted murder in some areas.”
Promoting Prevention and Support
OneEighty continually updates its programs and services to address the ever-evolving challenges of domestic violence and sexual assault. OneEighty’s “In Her Shoes” simulation is an example of the educational initiatives the organization undertakes. This program helps individuals gain a deeper understanding of the challenges survivors face and the decisions they must make in abusive relationships. By raising awareness and empathy, OneEighty aims to prevent future instances of abuse.
OneEighty works tirelessly to educate young people about healthy relationships. Our team conducts three-day healthy relationships programming in all high schools in Wayne and Holmes counties. And OneEighty’s outreach extends prevention education programs to college campuses, including Wayne College, Ohio State, and the College of Wooster. By teaching students about the different types of power and control in unhealthy or abusive relationships, OneEighty hopes to create a generation that is better equipped to recognize and address domestic violence. Experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking can be life-altering for survivors. That’s why OneEighty not only promotes prevention programs but also actively works with the community to educate on how everyone can advocate for victims. “We believe that through education and support, we can make a lasting impact in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault in our communities,” Tina asserted.
OneEighty’s dedication to providing practical support, raising awareness, and promoting prevention initiatives is at the core of our mission. Gayle explained that OneEighty collaborates with area churches and community support organizations to provide a network of support for clients. “We very frequently refer our domestic violence clients to our housing department and our mental health counselors because of the overlap in needs due to dealing with associated homelessness and with mental health issues,” Gayle explained.
We’re here to support you.
We help people change direction with programs for addiction, domestic violence, rape crisis, mental health, housing, and prevention and education. At OneEighty, we actively support an evidence-based approach to sustainable recovery from trauma and addiction – restoring dignity and purpose, reimagining potential, and rebuilding lives. OneEighty offers counseling programs, intensive addiction treatment programs, group addiction treatment, residential services, victim services, recovery housing, and peer recovery.
For those encountering a substance use crisis please call OneEighty’s Substance Use Crisis hotline available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year at 330-466-0678. For other resources, click the links below: