“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
– Carl Jung
National research estimates that 85-90% of women in prison in the US have experienced violence (domestic, sexual, and/or child abuse) prior to their incarceration. In order to reach the hundreds of incarcerated survivors in New Jersey, SAFE in Hunterdon (SiH) has provided healing services for the women housed at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women (EMCF) for over 15 years in collaboration with the Department of Corrections (DOC).
Support services include individual and group counseling, as well as healing music groups, which offer survivors a chance to process and heal from the traumas they have experienced. Survivors gain knowledge about the cycle of abuse and healthy relationships, learn coping skills to manage the complex emotional impact of violence and trauma, and have an opportunity to be heard. Music is utilized as a medium of expression and creativity in survivor groups to promote emotional healing. Incarcerated survivors face unique barriers to healing which are critical to address during the healing process.
SiH and DOC staff also collaborate on a number of educational and healing events throughout the year. Past projects include: Domestic Violence Quilt which displays survivor artwork and poetry; yearly music concerts and art galleries; community resource fair; a walk to raise awareness about the correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse; and The Clothesline Project.