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Haven at a Glance

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We strive to offer a Positive Social Response to victims of violence who reach out for help.

Upon a victim’s disclosure, a Positive Social Response is a response that: 

  • Addresses the violence directly 

  • Creates a safety plan 

  • Listens to and believes the victim, and validates what has happened 

  • Helps them to connect with resources and shows them they are not alone

Studies involving violence (child abuse, sexual assault, wife assault, and combat) show that the quality of the social responses to victims of violence may be the best single predictor of the level of victim distress. Victims of violence who receive a positive social response experience decreased distress.

Victims of violence who receive a positive social response tend to recover more fully and more quickly, are more likely to work with authorities, and are more likely to report violence in the future.

Marginalized, disadvantaged people—those in poverty and those who are LGBTQ, Aboriginal, refugee, immigrant, and/or disabled—are more likely to receive negative social responses which perpetuate suffering and violence.

A positive social response recognizes every victim’s resistance to violence—resistance that helps them to retain their dignity. Reminding a survivor that they are capable, fierce resistors of violence, and not helpless, hopeless victims, can spark their sense of self worth and their healing.

At Haven Society, we want to acknowledge, with a maximum Positive Social Response, every victims’s courage to reach out —so that every victim knows that she is listened to, believed, and worthy of care.

We would like to acknowledge Dr. Allan Wade, Dr. Shelley Bonnah, Dr. Cathy Richardson and their colleagues at the Centre for Response-Based Practice for their extensive work on positive social response.

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