Safe Homes of Orange County

“We are trauma informed, survivor led. Victims know best what they need, and we listen to the voices of those most impacted by intimate partner violence.” – Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Executive Director, Safe Homes of Orange County

For 31 years, Safe Homes of Orange County has been the only provider of services to victims of intimate partner abuse in the Mid-Hudson Valley’s most populous county. It is their mission to work toward the elimination of domestic violence by providing comprehensive support services and shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children, and by increasing public awareness about domestic violence issues.

“One in four women in the US will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime; and one in three teens will experience teen dating violence.” says Kostyal-Larrier. “If we want to bring an end to intimate partner violence, we must start tackling issues at a systemic level, including sexism, misogyny, classism, racism, and ableism. We have to start dismantling larger, oppressive systems and holding everyone accountable so we can tackle the root causes that lead to abuse. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior by the abuser where they use physical, sexual, physiological, emotional, or financial tactics to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.”

Safe Homes addresses services critical to those who are facing abuse in their lives because many of the systems that a victim will encounter are not designed with them in mind. These include court advocacy, basic emergency needs, working towards economic self-sufficiency, finding adequate housing, and determining the ability to provide. Safe Homes also offers educational programs throughout the county to school children and adults on what to do if you are a victim of, or if you are a bystander to, abuse.

The Dyson Foundation has a very strong focus on human services, and addressing intimate partner (domestic) violence is a core human service need. Dyson Foundation grants in 2016 to Safe Homes of Orange County include multi-year general operating support and a capacity-building mini-grant. These grants fall within the Strengthening Nonprofits and the Health & Safety Net funding themes.