Safe+Sound Somerset’s mission is to support survivors of domestic abuse and their families, and to engage the community to break the cycle of violence. Over recent months we have highlighted many of our client support services in our What to Expect series, portraying a survivor’s journey as they engage in specific programs. As we prepare for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February 2021, we want to share more about how the organization, through SPEAK, engages with the community to stop violence.
S+SS’s commitment to an abuse-free future is a response to the destruction that domestic violence causes in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Our SPEAK Outreach and Education program offers research-based and customizable interactive trainings to community groups and schools. While offering information and resources to connect survivors to services, SPEAK trainings empower individuals with the skills and tools to maintain abuse-free relationships and increase awareness of the traumatic effects of domestic abuse to individuals and the community.
Just as our Legal Advocacy, Counseling, Safe House, Financial Empowerment, Family Advocacy and Hotline have all gone through extensive changes to continue providing exceptional services to survivors during the pandemic, SPEAK Outreach and Education has also transformed to meet the current needs of the community. While we miss the personal connections of in-person events, we have found that using virtual platforms for our presentations allows us new opportunities to reach more people than ever before.
Here are some of SPEAK’s accomplishments since going 100% virtual:
- We have implemented a calendar of monthly webinars for the general public. Topics of these webinars cover how to spot the warning signs of domestic violence, how to talk to teens about dating abuse, and an in-depth look at S+SS’s services. To assure that language is not a barrier to receiving expert information about domestic abuse, we will be launching versions of these webinars in Spanish in January 2021. For upcoming webinars, click here.
- 60 high school students from all of Somerset County participated in our virtual Leadership Camp. They learned about the dynamics of teen dating abuse and gained the tools they need to raise community awareness about teen dating abuse and connect teen survivors to our local services. Planning for this year’s Virtual Leadership Camps for high school students is already underway, coming July 2021!
- We partnered with a variety of community groups to provide customized training for their employees or members. Recent partners include Hillsborough and Montgomery Townships, Somerset County Youth Services Commission, Vets4Warriors, The American Institute, Our Revolution Hillsborough, North Plainfield Middle School, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs of NJ. To schedule a training, click here.
After one presentation a participant wrote, “This wasn’t my first workshop at Safe+Sound, but I can say that your workshops are always incredible. I learn so much and feel inspired every time.”
Our trainings are provided at no-charge and can be customized to the audience and training needs of the organization. We cover a variety of topics including Recognizing and Responding to Domestic Violence, When Home Isn’t Safe: When Children Witness Domestic Violence, Teen Dating Violence, and an Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care for Survivors. If you are part of a social service organization, school, place of worship, community group, or business, and would like to learn more about available trainings, please contact us at [email protected]