Philosophy & Guiding Principles

Philosophy

We believe that the safety of every child and every parent are of equal and utmost importance and that children should be able to expect safe and enriching interactions with their parents.

We believe that children cannot be protected from the consequences of domestic violence unless the dynamics of power and control in their families are addressed. If we ignore the dynamics of power in their families, children are exposed to further harm.

We believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect and fairness and to be treated as individuals.

We believe that we have a responsibility to our community to ensure the safety of all family members when there has been family violence. We also believe that the community has a responsibility to influence family relationships when family violence leads to a separation or divorce.

We believe that domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that one intimate partner or spouse exerts over another as a means of control. This may include physical or sexual violence, intimidation, threats, isolation, and emotional or verbal abuse. Our services have been designed with the objective of increasing safety for victims of domestic violence and decreasing further opportunity to abuse.

Guiding Principles

Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Program

Principle I: Equal Regard for the Safety of Child(ren) and Adult Victims
Visitation centers should consider as their highest priority the safety of child(ren) and adult victims and should treat both with equal regard.

Principle II: Valuing Multiculturalism and Diversity
Visitation centers should be responsive to the background, circumstances, and cultures of their community and the families they serve.

Principle III: Incorporating an Understanding of Domestic Violence into Center Services
Visitation centers should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the nature, dynamics, and impact of domestic violence and incorporate that understanding into their services.

Principle IV: Respectful and Fair Interaction
Visitation centers should treat every individual using their services with respect and fairness, while taking into account the abuse that has occurred within the family.

Principle V: Community Collaboration
Visitation centers should seek to operate within a community collaborative which has as its goal to centralize safety of child(ren) and adult victims and hold batterers accountable. The community collaborative will strive (1) to ensure a holistic response to each family member’s needs; (2) to stop continued abuse of child(ren) and adult victims; and (3) to eliminate the social conditions that cause intimate partner violence.

Principle VI: Advocacy for Child(ren) and Adult Victims
Visitation centers should work with the community collaborative to ensure that child(ren) and adult victims have meaningful access to services and should actively link individuals to those services.