Las Vegas Sun

January 23, 2019

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Findlay Good Works:

SafeNest aims to put an end to domestic violence homicides

safeNest

Christopher DeVargas

SafeNest CEO Liz Ortenburger stands in front of Hoover Dam, which was illuminated in purple for National Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.

Liz Ortenburger, SafeNest

• Title: CEO

• Agency address: 3900 Meadows Lane, 89107

• Agency phone number: 702-877-0133

• 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 702-646-4981

• Agency website: safenest.org

• Hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

What does your organization do?

SafeNest provides a full range of services dedicated to ending domestic violence homicides in Clark County. Our core services are based on the following three guiding principles:

Prevention Services: Education, training, batterer’s treatment, youth programming, Camp Hope

Protection Services: 24/7 crisis hotline, protection orders, confidential shelter, court support, Project Safe 417

Empowerment Services: Counseling, victim advocacy, U-Visas, transitional housing, survivor groups, employment assistance

When and why was it established?

In 1977, SafeNest was incorporated as Temporary Assistance for Women (TAW) when the agency opened the first shelter house for abused women and children in Southern Nevada and launched its 24-hour crisis hotline.

During the next 20 years, with the help of individual donations, legislation and state-wide partnerships, TAW added shelters, open donation and counseling centers, critical legal assistance and expanded programming. In 1996, TAW adopted the name SafeNest and opened additional offices in Laughlin, Mesquite and Boulder City.

What is Findlay Good Works?

Good Works is a twice-monthly series in Las Vegas Weekly in which we highlight the efforts of nonprofit groups that are making a difference in our community. You can check out the good work of more organizations by visiting facebook.com/FindlayAutoGroup.

Who are its clients today?

SafeNest serves batterers, survivors, victims and families of domestic violence in Clark County. Last year, we provided direct service to 39,673 individuals.

What are its current initiatives or goals?

Ending domestic violence homicide is our primary mission. Current initiatives include innovations in the treatment of batterers, establishing Camp Hope for children who have experienced domestic violence and Project Safety 417.

PS417 and Metro Police formed a partnership to specifically address domestic violence in the Las Vegas Valley. SafeNest PS417 volunteers help provide crisis intervention and support to domestic violence victims by reducing the time from when a patrol officer responds to a call to the time when a victim or survivor connects with SafeNest and other resources. This immediate on-scene response aids the victim with instant safety planning, preparation and education. The program launched December 2017 in the Northwest Area Command precinct, which has already seen positive results, with a 15 percent drop in repeat domestic violence calls. Spring Valley was added in October. The goal is to expand the program citywide on a 24/7 basis by 2020.

What services might the community not know about?

Our focus is ending domestic violence homicides; in doing that, we have to treat the batterer. We offer both court-ordered and voluntary services.

What is the greatest success in which you’ve participated?

It will be when we can celebrate one, two, three years and beyond as a community that is free of domestic violence homicides.

What can people do to get involved in the cause you serve?

Simply give—volunteer time, offer items to the donation center or dollars to SafeNest. Don’t be afraid to lend an ear to a friend, family member or co-worker who may need you. With one in three women and one in seven men experiencing domestic violence, we all know someone suffering from this epidemic.

What can Southern Nevadans do to improve our community in general?

Love your kids. If your kids have friends who need love, love them too.

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.