Our philosophy

The following core beliefs and ideals are at the heart of DC SAFE’s client services model. These philosophies define the way that we relate to clients, the way that we relate to each other, and the way that we work within the local community.

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  • Domestic violence is a pattern of coercion and control that includes, but is not limited to, physical violence.

  • Abuse is never the fault of the one who is abused. We choose to employ the term “survivor” rather than “victim,” to emphasize the strength we know is in each of our clients—the strength to survive the abuse, to break free of it, and to create a new life free from violence.

  • Domestic violence offenders are not fit parents and should not have custody of children.

  • Domestic violence offenders must be held accountable for their actions through the criminal justice system. Therapy and counseling interventions for offenders is insufficient.

  • Immediate crisis intervention increases the likelihood that clients receive needed services that will stop the cycle of violence and save lives.

  • Domestic violence is a phenomenon that primarily occurs between intimate partners, and although most victimsare women, our clients also include men; adults and adolescents; queer men and women, and transgendered persons. Our clients hail from a diverse selection of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

  • DC SAFE views advocacy as an active organic process designed to fit the needs of the individual client and the client population as a whole.

  • Advocates and survivors should have a relationship protected by confidentiality.

  • Survivors can speak for themselves and know what is best for themselves and their families.

  • Crisis intervention consists of immediate, short-term help to individuals who experience an event that produces emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress or problems the goal of which is to restore normal functioning and resources as quickly as possible.