Where Are They Now: Ellen

Where Are They Now: Ellen

What’s life like after a DC SAFE Internship? Find out what some of our amazing former interns are up to now. Don’t forget to apply for a DC SAFE internship today.

Headshot Ellen HutchinsonEllen Hutchinson was the Lethality Assessment Project Intern during the Spring of 2013.

What interested you about interning with DC SAFE?

“I was a Political Science and Women’s Studies major. I really wanted to get my feet wet and have some real-world experience, and I felt the SAFE internship was a good way to combine my two majors. I also wanted an internship that would make a real impact, while giving me substantive experience.”

What are you doing now?
“I graduated from George Washington University in May 2014 and am now in my first year of law school at George Mason University.”
How did your work at DC SAFE impact your life?
“I learned so much in my time at SAFE. I learned not only about procedural things–court proceedings, social services, MPD, etc.–but also about bigger and systemic issues surrounding domestic violence–socioeconomics, sex and gender, trauma informed care, safety and more. It also gave me a much greater appreciation for non-profits and the people who work for them. I met so many passionate people who cared so much about what they did and worked so hard to help their clients; it continues to inspire me.”
What would you tell prospective interns and volunteers?
“Every time I tell someone where I interned, they always say ‘Wow, that must have been tough.’ And the truth is that it was tough. But it was an incredible experience, and I learned so much. So I would tell prospective interns and volunteers not to be intimidated by the subject matter. We all felt nervous when we first started, but that goes away. And always keep in mind how important what you’re doing is.”

Thank You for Keeping DC SAFE

Thank You for Keeping DC SAFE

Last week was National Volunteer Week recognizing the important contributions that volunteers make throughout the year.

DC SAFE is fortunate to have the dedication of community members who serve as Court Watch Program Volunteers and Response Line Volunteers.

In just this last year, Response Line volunteers volunteered for a total of 1,266 hours providing crisis intervention and advocacy for survivors. Volunteers also went on Ride Alongs with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and provided in-person services for survivors at the scene of crimes.

Thank you for volunteering your time to make a difference for survivors! Volunteers are an essential part of DC SAFE’s mission and we could not do what we do without the dedication of our volunteers.

If you’re interested in learning more about DC SAFE’s volunteer program or about finding out how you can become a volunteer, you can find information here.


Advocates of the Month: April 2015

Advocates of the Month: April 2015

DC SAFE’s Shelter Advocates are the Advocates of the Month!

Hanaleah and Elizabeth serve as advocates at SAFE’s crisis shelter for domestic violence survivors, SAFE Space. As Shelter Advocates, Hanaleah and Elizabeth provide services and advocacy for survivors and children staying at the shelter and help survivors meet their long-term housing goals.

During just last year alone, more than 750 survivors and children came to SAFE Space. DC SAFE’s Shelter Advocates play an important role in empowering survivors to reclaim their lives after domestic violence.

In addition, both Hanaleah and Elizabeth provide supportive advocacy for survivors at D.C.’s two Domestic Violence Intake Centers and serve as a resource for other Advocates working with survivors who have housing-related questions.

Domestic Violence and the Elderly

Domestic Violence and the Elderly

Domestic violence can happen to anyone and elderly populations are no exception. 90% of elderly domestic violence victims are abused by a family member* and specifically 2/3 of victims are abused by spouses or children**.  Since 2005, DC SAFE has provided crisis intervention and advocacy services for more than 950 elderly survivors.

As part of an ongoing project with the DC Courts, DC SAFE, alongside Assistant Attorney General Sarah Connell, trained more than 100 community members at the District of Columbia Guardianship Assistance Program’s Seventh Annual Guardianship Conference. SAFE provided information on safety planning and resources for elderly victims of domestic violence. Training participants included family members and guardians appointed by the DC Superior Court.

Training participants reported an increased knowledge of safety planning and resources available for elderly survivors.

DC SAFE is honored to participate in this important training. As a leading organization in the District of Columbia providing crisis response services and supportive advocacy for survivors of domestic violence, training and technical assistance is an integral part of SAFE’s mission. To learn more about SAFE’s Training and Technical Assistance Program or to request a training click here.

*Administration on Aging, National Center on Elder Abuse; MetLife Mature Market Institute, Broken Trust, Elders, Families and Finances, March 2009

** OWL, Elder Abuse: A Woman’s Issue, March 2009


Advocate of the Month: January 2015

Advocate of the Month: January 2015

Kylie is January’s Advocate of the Month!

In January, Kylie excelled at her individual client work, providing on-going, comprehensive services to clients both on the Response Line and in the Domestic Violence Intake Centers. Kylie played an integral role in the expansion of our Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Access Project, providing 24-hour in-person services to survivors who present at Washington Hospital Center for a domestic violence forensic exam.

Aside from her client work, Kylie is responsible for monthly statistics for our Response Line and ensures that we are up to date on our billing so that we can continue to place clients in crisis housing 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Welcoming New Beginnings

Welcoming New Beginnings

Artwork created by a survivor staying at SAFE Space to welcome other survivors.

A new year is a time to reflect on new beginnings. We are so grateful for the generosity of DC SAFE’s supporters who raised a total of $28,528 for SAFE Space during our holiday campaign. With these funds, more survivors can receive crisis housing and supportive services to create a new beginning free from violence and abuse.

SAFE also received an outpouring of support for survivors through in-kind donations from SAFE’s Amazon Wish List. We also received generous support from local groups such as employees giving programs and faith-based organizations, such as New Direction Church. These donations will be vital to helping survivors and their children feel more comfortable and at home.

We were touched to receive many special messages from community members expressing their support of SAFE and the survivors that SAFE empowers.

“You are an amazing organization and I’m in awe of the work you do to help people who come to SAFE. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a happy 2015.”

“My daughter is volunteering for your organization and I would like to make a donation in her honor. May this donation help you reach your financial goals and to continue the work you do in support of individuals who have suffered at the hands of domestic violence.”

“This donation is made by my company’s Charitable Contributions Company. DC Safe was recognized as an organization making a difference in our local community and we wanted to help.”

We are so grateful to receive generous support from our volunteers, board members, community members, and many others. Your support welcomes survivors and their children to a new life free from abuse and violence.


Advocate of the Month: December 2014

Advocate of the Month: December 2014

Charity is December’s Advocate of the Month! Charity was nominated by her co-workers for her above-and-beyond advocacy and passion for the work. In her short time with DC SAFE, Charity has developed expertise in both the court process and victim advocacy. Since she began in Sepember 2014, Charity has been a relentless advocate, building relationships with survivors in court who hadn’t previously received SAFE services and ensuring that they’re connected to all available resources. Charity’s passion extends outside of the Courthouse: Charity regularly signs up for Ride Alongs with the Metropolitan Police Department, providing in-person crisis services and building relationships with officers. Congratulation, Charity!


Advocate of the Month: November 2014

Advocate of the Month: November 2014

Lindsey is November’s Advocate of the Month! Lindsey was nominated by her co-workers for her client-centered, comprehensive work on the On-Call Response Line. Lindsey has done an incredible job ensuring that the most vulnerable clients’ needs are met quickly and efficiently through the Lethality Assessment Project (LAP).  Lindsey’s great work ethic and dedication to her clients has allowed LAP to flourish despite staffing shortfalls during the months of October and November.  Lindsey’s professionalism and commitment with both LAP and the response line has resulted in greater engagement by partner agencies and more positive interactions for SAFE clientele.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

It is that time of year where we all pause to reflect on the year past– how far we have come, and who helped us along the way. DC SAFE is so fortunate to be working alongside caring, supportive, and passionate organizations and individuals. We are not exaggerating when we say that we could not provide our critical services without their help, and at this time of year we want to take a special moment to recognize some of this year’s shining stars. You are all superheroes. Thank you for being part of the DC SAFE family.


Beveridge card

Building Partnerships card

Cafritz card

CVCP card

Katten card

Mary Kay card

OLA card

OVS card

SEIU card

Verizon card

Mary Kay Foundation Includes DC SAFE in 2014 Grantees

Mary Kay Foundation Includes DC SAFE in 2014 Grantees

DC SAFE is honored to have been selected from among hundreds of applicants as one of the 2014 grant recipients for The Mary Kay Foundation domestic violence shelter grant program.

While domestic violence has experienced a recent boost in awareness, shelters around the country are struggling to overcome funding gaps which directly affect their ability to provide resources for women and children fleeing abuse.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Each shelter will receive a $20,000 grant to maintain critical services and programs.

“It’s been a bigger challenge than ever for shelters to keep their doors open and grants from The Mary Kay Foundation are a vital part in helping shelters move forward in their missions,” said Anne Crews, board member for The Mary Kay Foundation and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “We have witnessed significant progress in raising awareness that domestic violence is an unacceptable crime but there is much more work to be done. These grants are a signature program for us and we know the nearly 400,000 women and children served by the 150 shelters receiving our funding will have their lives changed for the better and join The Mary Kay Foundation in changing the dialogue surrounding abuse for generations to come.”

While more than half of the grant recipients use the unrestricted funds for basic operating expenses including utilities and meal preparation, others hire much needed personnel, complete repairs and facility renovations or add additional programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve.

‘There is never going to be enough money to address the full needs of shelters and their programs,” said Crews who, as a long-time advocate against abuse, is the Mary Kay liaison to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence and serves as president of the board of directors for the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. “It’s up to all of us to volunteer or get involved with nonprofits focused on the issue.”

Through the Foundation’s annual shelter grant program, $37 million has been granted to domestic violence organizations since 2000. Each year, grants are awarded to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam with remaining grants distributed based on state population. Nearly 700 shelters applied for funding this year.

Click here for a full list of 2014 grant recipients or visit marykayfoundation.org for additional information.