WHO WE ARE
Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) is a nonprofit organization that provides temporary shelter and empowerment-based safety and trauma-informed advocacy services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, while promoting a community of nonviolence and respect.
SAFV is located in the City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska, and serves Sitka, as well as the surrounding Southeast Alaska communities of Port Alexander, Kake, and Angoon.
SAFV has two main areas of work: advocacy and prevention. In our direct services work, SAFV's advocates work closely with victims of violence to help them re-build their lives, free from violence. In prevention, SAFV's specialists work to create systems and programs within our community that promote healthy relationships and respect in an effort to create a strong, thriving community where violence is outside the norm. Both advocacy and prevention are essential to ending violence within our community.
SAFV provides advocacy for all women, children, and men who are in violent situations or who have impending safety concerns. Communication with SAFV employees is confidential. Advocates provide services, including personal support, safety planning, and systems advocacy while working with legal, housing, or medical agencies to support a person's right to live free from violence. To learn more about the advocacy services we provide, visit our Advocacy page.
Violence prevention is essential in stopping multigenerational cycles of violence within families and communities. Primary prevention works by creating systems and programs that support a community's well-being. This happens by working to foster repsect and healthy relationships, creating healtheir, more resilient people who are less likely to experience violence in their lifetimes. To learn more about our prevention programs and efforts, visit our Prevention page.
MISSION & VALUES
SAFV provides empowerment-based safety and advocacy services for victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence while promoting a community of nonviolence and respect.
SAFV recognizes that domestic violence and sexual assault exists in Sitka, and we believe that systems of oppression, such as sexism, racism, and historical trauma are factors that create patterns of violence within our community. We recognize that women are disproportionately impacted by this violence, contributing to a power imbalance in Sitka.
SAFV believes all people deserve to feel safe in their homes and community, live free of judgment and shame, and have equal access to confidential services.
SAFV believes in treating staff and those seeking services with respect and transparency, advocating for and supporting individual needs and fostering an environment where cultures and identities thrive.
SAFV believes that our community has a responsibility to create an environment that prevents domestic violence and sexual assault, and that supports the rights of women. SAFV provides tools necessary for individuals to raise awareness and mobilize change.
SAFV believes in building partnerships in Sitka and across Alaska to create system changes that hold perpetrators accountable and to establish new norms where violence against women is not tolerated.
Sharing information and supporting people in a nonjudgemental manner by giving them affirmation and a space to be heard, providing access to opportunities and resources, and confirming their right to choices, control, and opportunities. All of this allows people to develop a sense of self-worth and self-sufficiency and to influence the path of their lives. This happens on both an individual and community level.
Creating and ensuring an environment of trust so that someone feels safe enough to disclose personal information.
Living without fear or threat of violence and creating a place to heal.
A belief that words and actions should be empathetic and promote safety. Therefore, there is no place for harm, passive or aggressive, allowing for peaceful and healthy coexistence.
Honoring and upholding the personal beliefs and values of others and ourselves. Respect is both given and received.
Embracing the uniqueness of individuals and honoring the wide spectrum of human nature, cultures, and traditions.
Respecting diversity while upholding the right for all to exercise their autonomy.
A sense of connectedness and togetherness with those we are involved with and to whom and for whom we are responsible.
An inner feeling of enthusiasm that motivates one to commit to and continue our work.
No information about anyone seeking services from SAFV is shared either verbally or in written form with any agency personnel or representative, or any individual without the written request or permission of the person to release such information. Information regarding any adult’s or child’s case will not be discussed with another individual seeking services. Any and all information obtained, whether third party or directly, regarding individuals SAFV staff members or volunteers serve is not shared with anyone outside the shelter.
SAFV is an equal opportunity organization and believes that embracing diversity and inclusiveness strengthens the status of individuals and families and is vital to the organization's mission. Building on our legacy of empowerment advocacy, we acknowledge the need to understand, respect and celebrate diversity in race, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and the presence of a behavioral, mental or physical disability. We also value diversity of viewpoints, life experiences, talents and ideas. Embracing inclusiveness makes us better advocates by providing fresh ideas and perspectives for problem solving, enabling us to respond to each client’s unique needs.
SAFV's board is made up of community members in Sitka who are dedicated to supporting SAFV's mission of providing empowerment-based safety and advocacy services for victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence while promoting a community of nonviolence and respect.
The board supervises and supports the executive director, reviews the agency's financial resources, and works to maintain fiscal health. Board members also work to ensure SAFV is upholding and achieving its vision, objectives, and longterm goals.
The SAFV board meets once a month; the date is announced in the Daily Sitka Sentinel. SAFV welcomes new community members to join the board. If you would like more information or are interested in joining the board, please contact us at or call us at 907-747-3370.
Maite Lorente, Chair
David Levesque, Vice Chair and Treasurer
Dayna Arnold, Secretary
Brian McNitt, Member at Large
Deborah Corso, Member at Large
Eleyna Rosenthal, Member at Large
In the mid-1970s, the women's movement in the United States started addressing domestic violence and safety for women. It became clear that shelters around the country were necessary to replace church basements and private safe houses, commonly used as shelter for women escaping violent situations, because of the abundance of victims needing to flee for safety. Alaska was not far behind the national movement when funding became available through the state for the first shelters.
Since then, SAFV has become a leader in creating domestic violence prevention programming in its work to stop violence before it starts. Following is a timeline of the origin and growth of Sitkans Against Family Violence.
1980: SAFV Establishes Itself as a Nonprofit
During the first few years while SAFV was establishing itself as a nonprofit and seeking funds, many founding mothers assist in the process, including Marcia Johnson, Mary Martha Christianson, Linda Zaugg, Joan Lewis, Ruth Campbell, Sue White, Nancy Davis, Cheryl Westover, and Roberly Potter. SAFV elects its first board of directors.