Valdosta nonprofit offers resources for those in domestic violence situations

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Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 12:28 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - If you’re experiencing domestic violence, there is help to get out.

Since the pandemic started, cases of abuse have increased significantly. Whether it’s sexual or emotional abuse or domestic violence, there’s help available.

The Haven is a nonprofit in Valdosta that offers resources for those in domestic violence situations.

“With sexual assault and that side of it, we saw maybe 125-150 cases a year. And on the domestic violence side, around 800 and that’s community and shelter included,” said Tiffanie Thomas, lead legal outreach advocate for The Haven.

Tiffanie Thomas is the lead legal outreach advocate for The Haven in Valdosta.
Tiffanie Thomas is the lead legal outreach advocate for The Haven in Valdosta.(Source: WALB)

Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said if you’re in that kind of situation, reach out for help.

“You can do it through your coworkers, you can go through the police department, you can go through our Haven, which is our women’s shelter. They will assist men in getting put in situations as well as women,” Manahan said.

Abuse isn’t just physical. It can be emotional, verbal, financial, sexual and can even occur in marriages. If you’re not the victim of abuse, there are still ways you can help out.

“Pull that family member aside, talk to them,” Manahan said. “They may not talk to you, but what you can do is notify your local law enforcement, have us go do a welfare check just to make sure that everything is going ok at that house.”

Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said if you’re in a domestic violence situation, reach out...
Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said if you’re in a domestic violence situation, reach out for help. (Source: WALB)

Family members and friends can help victims of abuse, Thomas said the victim has to be the one who seeks help from The Haven.

“You have to want the service yourself. I can know you need it, you can know someone else needs it, but they have to call us themselves,” Thomas said. “Pay attention to the red flags early on, the control. The first start is usually verbal/emotional. Because they’re trying to make you weak or make you believe that there’s no one else there for you, there’s no services, and their all you have.”

Said Manahan: “We need to look out for our family members and our friends and if we see them getting kind of distant or not showing up for functions or wearing like long sleeve shirts when it’s hot outside. Just certain things like that that we recognize as being odd.”

The Haven has advocates that are one call, email or message on social media away from helping anyone experiencing abuse. There is also a crisis line that can be reached at (229) 244-1765.

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