Safehouse and 24-Hour Hotline
Last year, Doorways provided support through the Domestic Violence Hotline to 1,157 calls—impacting 1,532 adults and children.
Domestic Violence Program Safehouse
To contact the Safehouse, call the hotline: 703-237-0881.
If this is an emergency, dial 911.
Our 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 and 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 help them heal and recover from trauma and move their lives forward. The Safehouse Program annually gives 80-100 women and children the safe haven they need.
All adults receive individual weekly support from a Masters-level social worker. Every resident participates in a Family Service Assessment, which creates a foundation for goal planning and services, including employment assistance, parenting education, financial planning, education enhancement, credit repair, and the creation of a plan to transition clients to self-sufficient housing as well as emotional support. The children who live at the Doorways’ Safehouse also receive their own specialized services that support them and their parents with school enrollment, wellness checkups, emotional health, developmental assessments, tutoring assistance and access to recreational activities. All Safehouse residents engage in a weekly in-house support group 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.
Through its 24-hour hotline, each year, the Doorways’ Domestic Violence Program assists approximately 800-900 callers impacted by domestic violence. As a first priority, the hotline staff and volunteers ensure that callers in immediate danger are provided with crisis intervention and strategies to assist them in becoming safe. The hotline is also the gateway to the Doorways’ Safehouse for women and families who are fleeing imminent danger. Hotline staff provide comprehensive information on local resources, referrals and safety planning. This vital information helps callers become more knowledgeable about the dynamics of domestic violence and learn about resources that are available to them in the community.
Surviving Domestic Violence
Jane’s Story of Teen Survival
During the summer, a hotline call was received at the Doorway Safehouse from a young mother in crisis. 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 with meetings 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.