SAFE Shelter honors victims, survivors of domestic violence

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Every minute, nearly 20 people in the United States are physically abused by their partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a Savannah organization is hosting events to honor people who have lost their lives to domestic violence, as well as survivors.

The SAFE Shelter in Savannah offers 24/7, confidential services to victims of domestic violence. In 2020, the shelter received more than 1,400 crisis calls. The SAFE Shelter also operates temporary housing for victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence can involve intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault or other abusive behavior, according to SAFE Shelter staff.

“If you’re in a relationship and you are frightened of that person that could be a huge red flag,” said Cheryl Branch, executive director of SAFE Shelter. “I mean, everybody argues, that’s life. But if you are afraid of that person and if that person has threatened you with what’s going to happen if you leave, anything like that — all you have to do is pick up the phone,”

On Friday, A number of community members, including Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and multiple Savannah Police officers, showed their support at the organization’s candlelight vigil at Forsyth Park. On Monday, Oct. 4, the organization will be back at Forsyth Park starting at 8:30 a.m. to tie purple ribbons around the trees as part of awareness month.

The organization will host its annual gala on Nov. 20. Organizers are intending for it to be in-person at The Palmetto Club at the Landings.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence crisis, you can call the SAFE Shelter hotline at 912-629-8888.

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