Individual and group counseling is available for survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Counseling, creative arts therapy and advocacy services are available at the main office and at confidential locations throughout Hunterdon County.
Counseling at SAFE in Hunterdon helps victims of trauma and violence see themselves as survivors and “thrivers.” All counseling and support services are free of charge and based on each individual’s needs. Participants in counseling may be in an ongoing relationship with an abusive partner or may use the services to address past, rather than present, abusive relationships. They may have experienced sexual abuse as a child or have been sexually assaulted by an acquaintance or stranger. All of our counseling services are short term (up to one year)
Support Groups for Victims of Domestic Violence
Groups provide victims with additional support while working to recover from the effects of abuse. Group members have an opportunity to share their own stories and learn from others with similar experiences. Group discussions can include education on power and control, safety planning, legal issues, child custody and parenting time, empowerment, and self-esteem.
Several different types of support groups are offered on various days and at different times. New groups are forming all the time. Individuals wishing to attend a group can call (908) 788-7666 for information regarding times and dates and to set up an intake appointment.
Victims have the opportunity to share their experiences and to express feelings in a confidential and safe environment. They learn that domestic violence includes physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual abuse. They review safety risks and strategies to increase safety. They begin to release feelings of self-blame.
Counselors believe that victims are experts on their situations. They do not tell them what to do but help them explore options. With support, victims become survivors who are empowered to make their own choices and to trust their ability to make decisions.
Creative Arts Therapy
These short-term (up to 12 sessions) adjunctive therapies, including art, music, dance, and drama, allow our survivors and their loves ones to use art as a form of self expression. This helps to solve conflict, manage emotions, improve self- esteem, manage stress and develop self-awareness and insight. Individual and group counseling focuses on exploring and embracing these concepts:
Safety and Empowerment: With safety, survivors develop coping strategies that protect them from further psychological harm. With empowerment, survivors take back control of their lives.
Validation: Validation of the survivor’s whole being, as well as his or her rights, thoughts, feelings and choices.
Strength and Respect: Clients are seen as having the capacity for positive and creative self-growth. There is respect for survivors’ choices and coping strategies.
Education: Information about the pattern of power and control in abusive relationships provides survivors with a framework for understanding what has happened to them.
Expanding Alternatives: The sky’s the limit! Alternatives are created by the client, with ongoing support and encouragement.