Safe Horizon launches #BeyondTheCall to highlight survivor need, incredible work of advocates during COVID-19 pandemic
March 15, 2022
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-306-1136
NEW YORK – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest non-profit victim services agency, has supported nearly 400,000 survivors of violence and abuse.
Today, Safe Horizon is launching #BeyondTheCall, a campaign to highlight the extraordinary achievements of its advocates, despite the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic.
When schools and many businesses were closed, access was limited, and many nonprofits were stretched due to the economic impact of the pandemic, Safe Horizon advocates remained available 24/7, providing remote and on-site critical support and resources to keep survivors safe.
When the pandemic hit New York City, making it the epicenter, the lockdown challenged the safety of many survivors and increased the potential for violence. The services offered by Safe Horizon were more critical than ever. And Safe Horizon’s advocates met that need.
During the pandemic, Safe Horizon advocates continued to provide critical, life-saving support, even as they themselves feared getting sick and many lost loved ones to the pandemic.
Over the past two years, Safe Horizon advocates:
- Supported 400,000 survivors of violence and abuse.
- Sheltered more than 3,000 children and caregivers.
- Answered more than 180,000 calls from survivors.
- Spent more than 150,000 hours keeping hotlines up and ready to receive survivors’ calls.
- Held nearly 30,000 counseling sessions.
- Had 10,000 conversations with survivors seeking orders of protection.
- Served nearly 14,000 children and nearly 7,000 of their caregivers following severe physical or sexual abuse.
- Distributed 40,000 meals to unhoused youth and connected with more than 800 youth.
In order to provide this level of support, Safe Horizon advocates had to go to extraordinary lengths. They had to work extra hard to make sure survivors understood that help remained available and could be accessed safely. And as courts and other resources closed physical locations, Safe Horizon advocates had to get creative about strategies for continuing to provide support.
“During the pandemic, even as Safe Horizon advocates feared for their own safety and lost their own loved ones, they continued to provide survivors with support and compassion,” said Liz Roberts, CEO of Safe Horizon. “The pandemic did not lessen the need for the services Safe Horizon provides. It simply made it more challenging for our advocates to provide those services. I continue to be in awe of the creativity and commitment I’ve seen from our advocates over the past two years. Whether our advocates were working to keep our shelters open for survivors in crisis, figuring out how to get an order of protection even though the courts were closed, or finding a way to provide a counseling session to a client who wasn’t comfortable leaving their home, they rose to the challenge.”
Safe Horizon’s essential workers continued to report to on-site work throughout the pandemic, making sure survivors could find the support they desperately needed. During the course of the pandemic, Safe Horizon supported 3,000 caregivers and kids through our domestic violence shelters. In order to keep clients safe, Safe Horizon distributed close to 25,000 masks and nearly 1,500 welcome kits to families.
Even though NYC courts closed physically, Safe Horizon advocates and attorneys held more than 10,000 conversations with survivors seeking orders of protection.
Safe Horizon’s 24/7 hotline, 1-800-621-HOPE, answered more than 180,000 calls, spending more than 150,000 hours on the phone with survivors in need. Safe Horizon also launched SafeChat, an online chat feature, for those who couldn’t make phone calls safely.
Homeless youth were also gravely affected by the pandemic. Streetwork Project, Safe Horizon’s youth homelessness program, distributed close to 40,000 meals and connected with more than 800 youth at its Drop-in Centers in Harlem and the Lower East Side, to help them access temporary shelter placement, housing vouchers, and social services.
For more information on Safe Horizon’s resources, learn about what we do here.
About Safe Horizon
Established in 1978, Safe Horizon is the largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States. It touches the lives of more than 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. Safe Horizon envisions a society free of family and community violence, leading the way by empowering victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence. Safe Horizon’s mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families, and communities. For more information, please visit safehorizon.org.