READING, Pennsylvania | âSafe Berks supports all victims of domestic violence,â said Beth Garrigan, CEO of Safe Berks. âMany victims, adults and children, are stuck 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 it continues to provide free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault around the clock.
All services are available in English and Spanish, and the translation will be used for any other language needed, they say. For emergency services, including requests for accommodation or medical defense, they ask anyone in need to call the 24-hour hotline at 844-789-SAFE (7233), or send a SAFE BERKS SMS to 20121.
They remind people that anyone in immediate danger should call 911.
âDomestic violence can happen to anyone,â Garrigan said. âOften people don’t ask for help because of the stigma associated with domestic violence. We want people to know that we are there to help victims of domestic violence and their families who are affected by abuse. “
âAnytime, day or night, we’re just a phone call away,â she said.
Safe Berks services include shelter, counseling, legal services, including assistance with seeking Abuse Protection Orders (ATP), medical advocacy, and education. Information on how to apply for an Abuse Protection Order in Berks County is available online.
Sadly, domestic violence is much more common and deadly than most people realize. Safe Berks serves thousands of survivors each year.
According to Safe Berks records, 70 residents of Berks County have been 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 work 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 use the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP).
This tool can help police identify situations where violence can quickly turn fatal. For more information on LAP or to request training, email [email protected]