TWS urges businesses to join Safe Haven program
The Safe Haven sticker program has begun in Truckee, and Tahoe Women’s Services’ Christine Langa would like the businesses in Truckee to embrace the program by hanging stickers in their windows.
The Safe Haven stickers let people in the community know that if they have a problem, or need to get away from a violent situation they can walk into that business to use the phone to call the proper authorities or Tahoe Women’s Services.
USA Media Regional Manager Roger Terneuzen has taken the lead in promoting the Safe Haven program in Truckee, and is working to get other businesses involved.
“The goal is to bring more awareness to the community,” said Terneuzen, who has worked with domestic violence programs for more than eight years. “It’s a sad truth that domestic violence and these types of incidents are kept hidden. The more we can find ways to bring awareness of the problem outside the confines of the home, the quicker we’ll find solutions to the problem.”
The sticker program has also launched on the North Shore, where various businesses have already posted their Safe Haven stickers.
So far in Truckee, only USA Media and the Sierra Sun newspaper have placed the stickers in their business windows.
Langa said some business owners have had concerns they would be opening their businesses to a violent episode on their property, but that similar programs in other states have shown such occurrences are extremely rare.
“Some business owners think the stickers may be an invitation to bring a domestic situation into their stores,” Terneuzen said. “That certainly is not anticipated. The decal does provide an invitation for a victim to be able to use the telephone as a resource with some confidentiality to contact Tahoe Women’s Services or if it’s a critical emergency, 9-1-1.”
He said the reaction of his employees when he put up the sticker at USA Media was very positive, and employees said they wished they had done it a long time ago.
Langa said it is hard to track the success the program has had, but the important thing is that the Safe Haven stickers show the community is sticking together to fight violence.
“The biggest thing is that the community recognizes and supports awareness,” Langa said. “By hanging stickers in their windows, businesses are saying, ‘We don’t stand for violence in this community.'”
Business owners in Truckee who are interested in learning more about the program can call Terneuzen at 587-6100. He will come to businesses to explain how the program works and supply the Safe Haven stickers.
“It’s a wonderful way to bring awareness to the situation both from the victim’s standpoint – to show they are not alone – and it also shows the perpetrators that their community will not stand for violence,” Terneuzen said.
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