Addressing Violence in All its Forms

Violence can take many forms. Emotional, physical, sexual, economic, social and verbal abuse is all considered violent acts against an individual. Between members of the household, this is known as domestic violence; although the definition varies from state to state, most define it as "engaging in activity toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested." Whereas domestic violence occurs within a household, sexual assault can happen anywhere. This statutory offense is defined as engaging in an unwanted sexual act by force. WestCare understands the psychological damage and physical harm these acts cause, and seeks to help the victims regain their lives.

The most important need for domestic violence victims is a safe place to stay. WestCare Arizona's Safehouse provides a safe and secure environment for victims of domestic violence and their children. With the ability to stay for up to 120-days, clients live in a home-like environment with warm beds, family-style meals, support groups, and community referrals for housing, employment and education. With a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week staffing, Safehouse offers domestic violence and life skills educational groups five days per week and individual case management to help the clients with transitional planning.

It is important to note that victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are not limited to females, but males as well. In fact, according to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, 10% of all sexual assault victims in the US are male. WestCare addresses sexual assault in many of the programs offered. For adolescents, a curriculum is used to discuss dating and how to stay safe. For adults, safe sexual practices are always taught, and victims of any form of sexual assault are given the support they need to overcome. Examples of programs such as these include: Florida's Village South Adolescent Treatment Program and Families in Transition.