Our mission is to enhance the safety of and increase the services for survivors of sexual and domestic violence and end additional abuse through communitywide education.
The Verde Valley Sanctuary (VVS) began 28 years ago as a grassroots organization of women who were concerned about domestic violence in our community. The original group of volunteers began taking crisis calls in their homes and transporting victims of abuse to the nearest shelters in Flagstaff, Prescott, and Phoenix. Thanks to generous donations from the community, VVS opened the first shelter in 1994 in a leased modular home that slept six.
Since then, the Verde Valley Sanctuary has strategically expanded and now offers comprehensive services for victims of family violence and assault including a 28-bed shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, a 6-bedroom affordable housing complex, advocacy-based counseling services, legal support, and community wide education and prevention programs.
Fiscal Year 2020/2021
This past year, the Verde Valley Sanctuary provided services to over 2,500 victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Our goal is simple: to enhance the safety of and increase services for survivors of sexual and domestic violence in our community and surrounding areas through education and prevention strategies. To accomplish that goal, we will need to expand both our facilities and staff. Through generous contributions we have already accomplished many great things.
When victims of abuse arrive exhausted and traumatized, they are greeted with compassion, support, and a safe environment. Thanks to one of our donors, we now offer our residents a sound healing music therapy room for trauma mitigation. Verde Valley Sanctuary services are always completely free of charge. You can help the survivors of domestic violence as they renew their spirit to lead safe, healthy lives, empowered by the support of their community. Your contributions help in so many ways.
As the only domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking shelter and service provider in the Verde Valley, the demand for our services has never been greater and continues to grow. COVID-19 alone had a significant impact on our services. In our surrounding communities, domestic violence incidents increased as high as 138% with in increase of the severity of injuries as well. This is unacceptable and requires all of us working together to effect positive change.
The journey of trauma recovery is challenging but also necessary. Survivors deserve to live safe and healthy lives. But one essential piece of that journey is safety; a place of safety to allow yourself to heal and grow and a place of safety to learn to trust yourself again. We are honored to provide that safety and accompany the survivors on their journey of hope.
Thank you for your continued support.
The Shelter provides 24/7 trauma-informed care, safety planning, support groups, counseling services, intensive advocacy, support programs for children, childcare, transportation, self-care, emotional support, addressing basic needs, learning about domestic violence, learning about options, referrals to medical, mental, and emotional health services, financial help, support with navigating the legal system, accommodations for survivors with physical and other disabilities, permanent housing support. As we are a temporary and emergency shelter, our maximum stay is four months.
Outreach provides trauma-informed care, safety planning, support groups, advocacy-based counseling services, transportation, self-care, emotional support, addressing basic needs, learning about domestic violence, learning about options, referrals to medical, mental, and emotional health services, financial help, and permanent housing support.
Legal Advocacy Center
Our lay-legal advocates provide trauma-informed assistance and support to survivors of domestic violence. sexual assault, and human trafficking as they engage with legal system. These services primarily focus on assisting clients with obtaining orders of protection and pursuing divorce and custody issues. Legal advocates are also available for court accompaniment to court hearings. Our advocates do not act as attorneys for survivors and are not able to provide legal advice. However, they are available to assist survivors in navigating the legal process and to discuss possible outcomes and provide information that will help survivors make informed decisions. Legal advocates also provide supportive services and referrals for additional community support.
We believe in starting early and investing in prevention strategies that promote healthy parent-child relationships, friendships, and dating relationships. Our YES program educates youth by equipping them with the skills to resist violence and abuse and promote healthy, non-violent interaction. Staff provide classroom trainings in nine (9) schools in Cottonwood, Camp Verde, and Beaver Creek/Rimrock. School administrators want the YES Program. The students are
eager to learn and are invested in the presentations and conversations. Presenters engage youth input, and it is a genuinely participative experience. Some students have experience with domestic violence, and some have been in the Shelter. The YES Program gives students information to be empowered to make the best choices for themselves.
24/7 Crisis Hotline
Every contact to the crisis line is personal. Some people who reach out to us identify as victims of abuse, some as concerned friends or family members calling on the victim’s behalf. Every contact is unique. It’s natural to feel anxious about contacting the crisis line, especially if it’s the first time reaching out for help. Our advocates undergo extensive training to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and our services are always confidential.
Reaching out for help is the first step toward improving the situation, and it’s important to recognize the courage in taking this vital step. Before an advocate can help, they’ll need to know the specific circumstances. This will likely be difficult to talk about, but it’ll give the person an opportunity to express oneself and to raise concerns they might have about the relationship.
Our advocates will never make decisions for the victim — only the victim has the right to do that — so discussing options can be a useful way to help them make their safest decisions. Our advocates can help victims sort through their choices to figure out what’s best for their specific situation. Some victims may choose to stay at the Shelter, others can be best served through Outreach services or Legal Advocacy. Some may use all services.