Safe Center LI Opens in Nassau County
By Jennifer Quaglio, student, Center for Distance Learning
April 9, 2014
The Safe Center LI opened March 18, with Nassau County’s District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Executive Edward P. Mangano, CCAN (Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect) Executive Director Cynthia Scott and CADV (Coalition Against Domestic Violence) Executive Director Sandy Oliva all in attendance.
A merger of two nonprofit agencies, the Safe Center LI, located at 15 Grumman Road W, Bethpage, N.Y., creates a single location where abused victims can get the help and services they need. Kaitlyn Pickford, assistant director of education, expressed her concern for college aged adults stating that; “you just don’t have to report it to your college campus security, students shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for help.”
Kristy Longman, a community educator who is reaching out to campuses statewide, said, “women college aged (20-24) experience the highest rate of sexual assault including stalking through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.”
The center offers help to children, adults and seniors. “Core programs include the operation of the Child Advocacy Center of Nassau County, a 24/7 multilingual hotline, legal counseling, mental health, rape and sexual assault services, emergency and transitional housing, group work services and education outreach,” as stated by the Safe Center. This includes a safe home for abused families, hospital and court advocacy, with more than 100 pro bono lawyers and so much more.
“For more than 35 years the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect have worked to help victims of domestic and family violence.” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.
Attendees at the news conference were given a special tour of the building which featured many rooms such as the program room, where children are cared for by professionals while counselors give adult victims the help they need. The one stop location is intended for abused victims to get the help they deserve right away. Many other centers might provide referrals or just brochures with information on what to do, making it harder for victims to seek help. The Safe Center LI makes it easy for men, women and children to all be treated under one roof at the same time. No one needs a referral, or has to worry about transportation or money to seek help.
The Safe Center LI is not only for Nassau County residents, but for anyone who has been victimized. If you or someone you know has been victimized please contact the 24 hour, multilingual hotline for domestic abuse by calling 516-542-0404 or visiting their website at www.thesafecenterli.org and www.facebook.com/thesafecenterli.