By Kylie Fields, Staff Writer
Tensions ran high Oct. 15 in a debate following an interactive and informative presentation from the Safe Shelter of Savannah.
Ms. Rose Grant-Robinson, the Outreach Program’s senior legal-victims advocate, took questions from over 25 students concerning the shelter’s many free services, as well as the ideal ways in which they can assist others upon witnessing incidents of domestic, emotional or physical violence.
The program ran severely past its scheduled end. As the presentation finally came to a close, the floor opened up for student discussion. Some tough questions on bystander intervention sparked a heated debate. An overwhelming majority of attendees argued that privately calling the police when witnessing an attack is the best way to handle most situations of domestic violence.
A lone male student argued the opposite: that involving the police has little point because the victim “will always just go back to him,” and that making that call is “just for your conscience.”
Survivors of domestic violence in attendance made known their reasons for disagreeing. They informed the group that calling the authorities on a gut feeling could mean saving someone’s life.
One student shared, “Even if she goes back to him, you might have just bought them a few more days to live.”
Safe Shelter most certainly stresses that one call from a bystander could get the ball rolling for victims to begin their journey to living without fear.
The shelter is open 24 hours a day and all programs, ranging from legal assistance, restraining orders, room and board and counseling for both women and their family unit are free of charge.
Since not all victims are women, they also have a downtown facility for men called Grace House. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter from any form of domestic violence, call 912-629-8888. Volunteer and internship inquiries can contact Marie Williams at 912-629-0026.