Support survivors escaping domestic violence

by Raphael House of Portland
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Support survivors escaping domestic violence
Support survivors escaping domestic violence
Support survivors escaping domestic violence

1 in 3 teens will experience some form of relationship abuse

With your help, our Prevention Education Program is stopping violence before it happens! 

Raphael House is more than a safe haven in the aftermath of abuse. Since 2006, we’ve also been expert leaders in preventing domestic violence – teaching practical tools for building safe relationships, asking for consent, and responding to abuse to thousands of students, teachers, and community members across Portland (over 2,700 last year alone).

And we haven’t stopped there. We’re also working alongside teen survivors when abuse does happen. In 2018, we began offering in-school confidential advocacy for students – the first partnership of its kind in the US. 

One-third of teens experience relationship abuse, but most never report it or get the help they deserve. Confidential advocates fill this gap – providing a safe adult to listen and share resources, so students can seek support and be part of ending the cycle of violence.

The violence harming people across our community is not inevitable. We CAN prevent it – and our growing programming at Raphael House is doing just that. 

Your support is making these changes possible. Thank you being a part of our life-changing work!

 

“As a confidential advocate, I get to truthfully tell student survivors, ‘say whatever you want.’ I’ve had students cry, sit in silence, yell. I get to provide a space for them to process trauma and heal in a way they might not have at home or anywhere else. We work together to figure out next steps. One student told me, ‘You’ve helped me. You’ve stayed here. You’ve been a person in my life who hasn’t been flaky, a person of your word.’

In high school, I only had two teachers show up for me. That I can do that for teens now is amazing – that ongoing connection is really powerful.”

-Chloe, Prevention Education Specialist

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Dear Friends,

As we wrap up our fiscal year at Raphael House, I’m filled with gratitude for the community of supporters who make our work possible every day. This past year brought with it the need to further adapt and rebuild, as we learned to live with the pandemic while responding to the ways it continues to destabilize domestic violence survivors and their children. With your support, we’ve been here for our community every day: providing safe and confidential shelter, remaining a long-term resource as survivors rebuilt their lives, and working in schools and across the community to stop domestic violence before it starts.

I’m so proud to share a snapshot of what we achieved together over the past year.

FY2022 Highlights:

  • Served a total of 5,583 individuals—including 1,683 survivors (adults and children alike) plus 3,900 additional community members.
  • Prevented homelessness and helped families maintain safe housing by providing one-on-one case management, expanding our team to include two new Housing Advocates, and distributing $479,000 in direct client assistance to pay for rent, utilities, and other critical needs.
  • Met families’ basic needs by distributing 34,480 pounds of food and fresh produce, 4,250 diapers, and countless thousands of hygiene items.
  • Helped prevent future violence by teaching 170 workshops on equitable relationships and practicing consent to thousands of students and adults across the Portland metro area, while also providing personalized, confidential support to 140 teens experiencing dating violence and sexual assault.

Reflecting on the past year, we could not be more grateful to be doing this work not alone, but in partnership with a community that is so deeply committed to supporting survivors. Thank you!

In health and safety,

Emmy Ritter, LCSW
Executive Director

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Dear Friends,

We’re so grateful for our community! Thank you for partnering with us to build hope for families escaping abuse. Your generous support in 2021 impacted 1,280 domestic violence survivors at Raphael House – both adults and kids.

In over a decade working here, I’ve never seen challenges like the past year… Calls to our hotline doubled in 2021, and so many survivors told us they were scared they’d have to choose between losing their housing or going back to their abuser. (Domestic violence is still one of the main reasons women and children become homeless.)

Through it all, our team has been so proud to work alongside families long-term – to help them get safe, and then stay stable in their homes. Last year we gave out a record $659,900 to pay for critical expenses like rent and utilities. Over and over, we see how wraparound support completely changes families’ lives.

That’s been the case for Saphira and her two toddlers, who I got to know while they were staying in our emergency shelter last summer. Before coming to Raphael House, they’d been living out of their car, moving every night to avoid her abuser. For months, our shelter team worked with Saphira to find a new job at a childcare center, make a budget, and get into a housing program (which is no easy feat). When she found a great apartment, we were even able to cover her first and last month’s rent to get her family started. Now, the three of them are moving forward with the future they want!

This is what we can do by coming together. Thanks for making meaningful change in the lives of so many survivors, like Saphira and her family.

- Lindsey Vold (she/her), Housing & Advocacy Services Manager

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Today we’re bringing you the story of Marius, who stayed in Raphael House's emergency domestic violence shelter as a child. Stories like his are exactly the kind of powerful change your generosity makes possible!

"I still remember the relief of waking up in Raphael House's shelter for the first time, with my mom and baby brother sleeping next to me. Even at 11, I knew that the three of us were finally safe from my dad. I’m a proud donor now because of this – because Raphael House completely changed the path we were on.

Today, our lives are so much happier than we could have imagined back then! My little brother is in nursing school, my mom found a partner who’s genuine and kind, and my wife and I are expecting our first baby. (Grandma is very excited.)

My son will never go through what we did as kids. He’ll wake up every morning knowing he’s safe and loved!

Looking back, my mom bringing us to Raphael House was the turning point that made this all possible. I don’t know what would have happened to our family otherwise, or if we’d even be alive.

Your gifts are the reason that hundreds of other families, like ours, always have a safe place to turn. The world is brighter because of Raphael House – it changed everything for us.

Thank you on behalf of my mom, brother, myself, and my son,

-Marius."

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In 2019, Marlena found out she was pregnant. She was afraid and didn’t want to raise a child with her abusive husband. So, she fled to our shelter and gave birth to a beautiful son named Julian. After three months of healing, starting a new job, and clearing debt racked up by her ex, our team helped them move into their own safe home! And we've been there to support her family in rebuilding their life ever since.

Here's an update, in Marlena's words:

“I finally had my feet under me – my independence, my own finances – and was making good decisions for myself and my baby! I was finding a new circle of people, like my advocate at Raphael House and the ladies in my trauma support group. Then COVID hit.

Being stuck at home had me feeling trapped and scared again – like I used to with my ex. Then I was furloughed from my job, and was so terrified that Julian would go to his father if we didn’t have a place to live.

My advocate at Raphael House was an angel for us. She helped me with rent, so we could stay in our home. She dropped off fresh food and diapers every week, and helped me deal with courts for the custody case. When my support group started meeting online last May, it was like we were back in the same room! It helped me feel like I wasn’t the only one going through all of this. Like I wasn’t alone.

I’m still taking it day by day, but I’ll make it through whatever is next because I have people at Raphael House who are there for me. So I can keep my son safe and teach him to be a good man.

We’re going to be okay.” -Marlena, survivor and mom

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Organization Information

Raphael House of Portland

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RaphaelHouse
Project Leader:
Elyse Flury
Portland, OR United States
$14,795 raised of $50,000 goal
 
178 donations
$35,205 to go
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