Safehouse and 24-Hour Hotline
Domestic Violence Program Safehouse
To contact the Domestic Violence program directly, or to inquire about the Safehouse, please contact the Hotline at 703-237-0881.
If you are in immediate danger, please contact 911.
The Doorways Safehouse is more than just a place to find shelter from domestic violence. It provides a spectrum of life-saving, supportive, and educational services to help women and children leave behind a life of domestic violence. These wrap-around services enable the family to begin a new life of stability, dignity and self-sufficiency. The Safehouse is a nurturing, confidential, and secure 11-bed home in which all residents—women and children—receive comprehensive services to begin the healing process. The Safehouse Program annually gives approximately 60-80 women and children the safe haven they need.
All adults receive individual weekly support from a Masters-level social worker. Every resident has the opportunity to participate in a Family Service Assessment, which creates a foundation for goal planning and services, including next-step housing, employment assistance, parenting education, financial planning, education enhancement and credit repair. The children who live at the Safehouse also have the option to receive their own specialized services that support both them and their parents with school enrollment, wellness checkups, emotional health, developmental assessments, tutoring assistance and access to recreational activities. In addition to the individual services for all adults and children, all Safehouse residents are encouraged to engage in weekly in-house support groups that focuses on the healing process and recovery from unhealthy relationships.
Domestic Violence Program 24-Hour Hotline
Contact the 24-hour hotline: 703-237-0881.
Each year, through the 24-hour, confidential hotline, Doorways’ Domestic Violence Program assists approximately 1,000-1,200 callers impacted by domestic violence within the community. As a first priority, the program staff and volunteers ensure that all callers in immediate danger are provided with crisis intervention and safety planning. The Hotline is also the gateway to the Doorways’ Safehouse for women and families who are fleeing imminent danger. In addition, program staff and volunteers provide comprehensive information on local resources, referrals, and other wrap-around services. This vital information helps callers become more knowledgeable about the dynamics of domestic violence, as well as learning additional resources that are available to them in the community.
Surviving Domestic Violence
Jane’s Story of Teen Survival
During the summer, a young mother in crisis called Doorways/ 24-hour Domestic Violence Safehouse. The hotline advocate quickly made sure the caller was safe. Once safety was established, Jane began to describe the intimidation, threats, and sexual assaults she had endured from her cohabitating partner. Jane also explained to the hotline advocate that she had a six year old daughter, Julia, and was into her third trimester of pregnancy. Once an eligibility assessment was conducted, travel was arranged, and the young family arrived at the Safehouse.
Jane was busy her first few days at the Safehouse, meeting with the Client Services Coordinator, Financial Educator, and Children’s
Services Coordinator. In her meeting with the Client Services Coordinator, Jane shared more about her personal situation. She became pregnant with her first child when she was in the 7th grade, though her family had been moderately supportive of her at the time. Gradually the relationship with her mother became unhealthy and Jane was legally emancipated at age 15. Soon after, Jane and her daughter moved into a residential program for young mothers. Since leaving this program, Jane and Julia had moved frequently and their most recent residence was shared with her abusive partner.
Jane quickly completed a family services assessment and created a goal plan that included finding a job, helping her child prepare for the new baby’s birth, and addressing her need to save money. She also met with the Financial Educator to create a financial plan to reduce debt and establish savings in an escrow account. The Children’s Services Coordinator met with Jane to discuss her role as a mother and assess Julia’s well-being.
During their three month stay at the Safehouse, Jane reached many of her goals. Working with the Children’s Services Coordinator, she was able to better prepare her daughter for the new baby’s arrival. Jane secured a part-time job on the weekends which helped her to reduce her debt and save money. Jane was also accepted into the HomeStart Supportive Housing Program. Doorways was able to arrange the donation of a bassinet and other furniture for Jane’s apartment. Jane spent her last few weeks at the Safehouse getting everything ready for the move-in to the new apartment and the forthcoming birth of the baby. Although Jane was only at the Safehouse for a short time, she improved her family’s wellness, secured a source of income and saved money, but most importantly, she achieved independence and safety for herself and her family.