by Amie Rodgers
Domestic violence statistics are truly shocking. What is even worse is that it is estimated that only about 25% of the domestic violence perpetrated is ever reported. That, my friend, is a whole lot of suffering in silence with no apparent way out. With no cure in sight, domestic violence is best addressed through awareness, advocacy and a safe place to go. The White Mountain S.A.F.E. House provides all these things and more.
“The White Mountain S.A.F.E. House is a private non-profit program dedicated to providing shelter, care and advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status at no cost to any individual. Services provided by WMSH include, but are not limited to: crisis intervention, residential shelter for women and children, individual and group advocacy, 24-hour crisis hotline (Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault), 24-hour on-site advocacy and support, children’s advocacy, case management, referral services, emergency financial assistance, lay legal advocacy, follow-up services (after care), as well as conducting outreach and community education. The ultimate goal of the White Mountain S.A.F.E. House is to provide shelter, support and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence in order to provide them with the options to move forward in their lives and become self-sufficient and independent members of the local community, as well as maintain a life free from abuse.”
There are a lot of ways you can help support the essential work of the White Mountain S.A.F.E. House. In addition to donations of items on their wish list (see www.wmsafehouse.org), you can shop at, donate to and volunteer at the S.A.F.E. House’s Butterfly Boutique in Pinetop. The boutique is well-described as an eclectic and interesting thrift shop with fabulous bargains on clothing, housewares, sporting goods, electronics, movies, games and jewelry. The Butterfly Boutique location is also home to a food pantry distributing food boxes to families in need and a Family Resource Center. Located at 2086 E. White Mountain Boulevard, they are open from 9 am to 4 pm (Wed-Sat).
Another opportunity to show your support is to purchase a ticket (or ten) to the Annual Dinner (formerly known as the Robert Burns Dinner). This year, the dinner will be held on January 28th at the Hon-Dah Conference Center. Always a good time, the Robert Burns theme had been a popular tradition for the S.A.F.E. House, even though no one really knew why.
“The idea to drop the Robert Burns theme started as a suggestion from the two ladies who took on planning the dinner this year. They proposed to the board that we drop the Robert Burns theme and the board was very receptive,” says President of the Board of Directors for the White Mountain S.A.F.E. House Jerry Howell, “At first we felt we couldn’t change something we had been doing for sixteen years, but then we all started asking ourselves the same question: what does Robert Burns have to do with the S.A.F.E. House? We all had the same answer: I dunno. It seemed logical to change the theme to reflect our dedication to getting the word out about what the SAFE House really is, our mission and why it is important to support it. The change has been well received and other than those who really love haggis, I think we are okay.”
This year’s theme is Breaking the Silence and promises to be an entertaining evening with an important message. “This is our major fund raising event of the year. It is critical we do a good job and we want to give our guests a fun evening, but also a good understanding of what the White Mountain SAFE House offers the community,” says Jerry, “The evening will open at 5 pm. There will be dinner at 6 pm and entertainment provided by Cavu. As in the past, we will have a silent auction, our popular dessert auction, and balloon sales where people can buy a balloon and receive a prize worth at least $20 inside. We expect to have around five very nice live auction items. This year’s video will be a little shorter than previous years, but we expect it to really have an impact on the audience. We need the audience to understand what we are about and what we need to maintain this mission. Our Executive Director Michelle Hanson will address the audience and we will also have a couple of ladies who have sought refuge at the S.A.F.E. House share their stories with us. Tickets are $50 per person. We rely heavily on our generous table sponsors who purchase a table of 10 tickets and for an additional $100, we put a banner up over the table to identify where their seats are, but also to recognize them for their support. We are shooting for 350 people in attendance this year. It is a big number for us, but we think it can be done. Last year alone, the S.A.F.E. House provided shelter and services to around 400 individuals. All we need is 350 individuals who want to help… and have dinner.”
Tickets are on sale at local chambers of commerce and at the Butterfly Boutique. To acquire a table sponsorship or donate a gift certificate, please call Jerry at (928) 242-7979.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
More than 10 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.
Every day, three women are murdered by a current or former male partner in the U.S.
—National Coalition Against Domestic Violence