READING, Pa. | “Safe Berks stands with all domestic violence victims,” said Beth Garrigan, Safe Berks CEO. “Many victims, adults and children, are trapped at home with violent abusers. Home is not a safe place for victims of domestic violence.”
Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, Safe Berks says they continues to provide free and confidential services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault 24 hours a day.
All services are available in English and Spanish, and translation will be utilized for any other language needed, they say. For crisis services, including requests for shelter or medical advocacy, they ask anyone who needs it call the 24-hour hotline at 844-789-SAFE (7233), or text SAFE BERKS to 20121.
They remind people that anyone in immediate danger should call 911.
“Domestic violence can happen to anyone,” said Garrigan. “Many times, people do not reach out for help, because of the stigma associated with domestic violence. We want people to know, we are here to help victims of domestic violence, and their families who are impacted by the abuse."
"Anytime, day or night, we are only a phone call away,” she said.
Safe Berks services include shelter, counseling, legal services including assistance with requesting Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders, medical advocacy, and education. Information about how to request a Protection From Abuse order in Berks County is available online.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is much more common and more lethal than most people realize. Safe Berks serves thousands of survivors each year.
According to Safe Berks records, 70 Berks County residents were killed by domestic violence since 1999. Each October, Safe Berks honors and remembers local victims of domestic violence at our annual Silent Witness March & Dedication.
Safe Berks says they works closely with local police departments to serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Their legal department provides training to police departments on how to utilize the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP).
This tool can help police identify situations where violence can quickly become lethal. For more info about LAP or to request training, email JenniferS@SafeBerks.org.