Criminal Justice System
Local family court judges, law enforcement, and the Solicitor’s Office have come to expect, encourage, and depend on us to provide assistance for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault throughout the family and criminal court process. We assist victims in filing for Order of Protection Petitions, provide support prior to and during family and criminal court hearings, and follow-up with victims after hearings. We also serve as an information clearinghouse for court dates and times, service status of summons, and outcome of Order of Protection hearings in Family Court.
Finally, high-risk families are identified by other crime victim service providers and referred to us. Last year, we received referrals from area law enforcement, including the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office, the Spartanburg Police Department, and the Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition established medical protocols at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Pelham Medical Center, Mary Black Health System Spartanburg, and Mary Black Health System Gaffney. By protocol, these hospitals contact SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition to provide accompaniment and advocacy to victims of sexual assault who report for medical attention following an incident. Staff and/or well-trained volunteers respond 24-hours a day to provide assistance to victims and their families at the local hospital to give information about the medical/legal examination, what to expect following an assault, and emotional support throughout the emergency room visit.
Community Service Providers
We are strongly networked with other service providers and resources in out tri-county service area. These include, but are not limited to, the Department of Social Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, Mental Health, Carolina Counseling, City and County Law Enforcement, Family and Criminal Court, local attorneys, South Carolina Legal Services, other shelter and rape crisis centers, local hospitals and health clinics, schools, Salvation Army, Piedmont Community Actions, United Ways, and churches. In-shelter groups are conducted by our staff and staff from other agencies, and we provide domestic violence and sexual assault groups for the community and receive referrals from these same agencies.
Our staff members regularly participate as trainers in workshops for law enforcement, magistrates, hospital personnel, and social service agencies. These events are in addition to providing speakers for civic groups, churches, and schools and for staffing information booths at community events. We have developed and implemented education/prevention programs in local elementary, middle, high schools, and colleges. We also have a very good relationship with the local media and have been able to get excellent coverage.
SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition also maintains a high visibility in the community and continues to form new alliances and maintain membership in those agencies that assist crime victims – our primary concern. The following is a list of our current memberships on the local, state, and national levels:
- South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- South Carolina Victim Assistance Network
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- National Organization for Victim Assistance
- Upstate Victim Advocates Coalition
- Spartanburg Community College Women’s Advisory Board
- Mental Health Partnership
- Youth-at-Risk Coalition
- Missing and Exploited Children Comprehensive Action Program
- United Way of the Piedmont
- Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network