A message from our Program Manager
I was afraid that leaving my abuser would mean that I would lose my kids because I believed I wouldn’t be able to support or protect them. I was a mom of three kids under seven years old, pregnant with my fourth, with self-esteem that was severely damaged from trying to survive my partner’s abuse. I was afraid to even pick up the phone for support from anyone outside my family, because I thought it would mean my kids would be taken from me. Not knowing that I could seek help and keep my family intact was a crippling fear. My fears were alleviated, and I finally sought safety when someone who worked in social services assured me that there were resources available to help ensure my family stayed together and safe.
I was really blessed to have extended family that formed a support system when I finally decided to leave my abuser. I was able to attend Chemeketa Community College and get a degree in human services. I started working with Henderson House almost 10 years ago as an intern while I was completing my studies. Today I serve as the Program Manager & Sexual Assault Lead Advocate for Henderson House. I recognize the burden of fear and uncertainty carried by the survivors that come to us for help – I carried that same burden for years and I want more than anything to help release them from it. A core principle that guides all our communication with survivors is that we are here to empower them to make the best decision for themselves. We never tell someone what they should do. We just make sure they know exactly what resources are available to them and what their options are.
Many people don’t have a family safety net available to them, and it can be a byproduct of abusive relationships that someone becomes isolated and cut-off from friends and family. Henderson House provides the vital support survivors need at what can be the scariest, most hopeless moment of their lives. We provide emergency shelter to survivors and their kids. We operate a 24/7 crisis phone line (503-472-1503). We accompany survivors to the emergency room. We help them complete the paperwork for protection orders and help file them. We accompany survivors to their court dates. When a survivor stays in our emergency shelter, they get paired with an advocate that will talk them through whatever they need to plan next steps, checking in with them daily. When survivors are able to find more permanent housing, we help them set up with basic home supplies.
Henderson House has been providing life-saving services, showing up like this for survivors of domestic and sexual violence for 40 years.
If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence questioning whether you should reach out for help, PLEASE reach out to Henderson House. ALL communication between survivors and Henderson House certified advocates is privileged and confidential and can’t be disclosed without your consent (per Oregon Stature 40.264 – Rule 507.1). We understand that privacy and safety are paramount. We will listen and explain all of the resources and options available. Please do not hesitate to call us – we are available 24/7.
If you want to support the work of Henderson House, please participate in our “40 Years of Hope” fundraiser, in honor of our 40 years of service. You can demonstrate your support by donating to Henderson House, participating in our Passport/Raffle, and bidding on auction items in our online auction.
We are so grateful to all of our community for showing up for us!
Henderson House Program Manager & Sexual Assault Lead Advocate