What Is a Safe Haven?
A Safe Haven is a space located near a courthouse or a closed-circuit television (CCTV) site that is designated for use by victims viewing a trial and the support teams providing victim services. A Safe Haven provides victims with access to immediate support from professional service providers and other victims. Safe Haven personnel also prepare victims for what they can expect in court and for the emotional reactions they may have to the court proceedings.
A Safe Haven may become the focal point for all victim services and activities centered on the trial. Services may include meals, information, referrals, and emotional support provided by mental health professionals, victim advocates, and nondenominational clergy.5 Program evaluation and victim feedback support the notion that the privacy, safety, and services offered within a Safe Haven minimize retraumatization by the judicial process.
If a Safe Haven facility cannot be acquired in the available timeframe, at a minimum, legal debriefings and limited services should be provided in a secure environment by a local coordinating agency, with the involvement of the U.S. Attorney's Office. Volunteer management may or may not be needed, depending on the types of services offered and the ability of the coordinating agency to provide them.
Safe Haven Resource
- Journey to Justice: A Community-Based Response to Victims Participating in Mass Fatality Trials