Valdosta Daily Times

January 18, 2014

Haven breaks ground at new sexual assault center

The Valdosta Daily Times

REMERTON — The staff with The Haven Battered Women’s Shelter, accompanied by board members, Remerton City Council members and supporters of the shelter, gathered together to break ground for the new Sexual Assault Center on Friday morning.

This new center will allow The Haven to better serve rape and sexual assault victims thanks to several added amenities. Currently, The Haven only has one exam room and very few other rooms for their Rape Crisis Program. In the new center, they will have multiple medical examination rooms, a room for law enforcement to perform interviews with victims and also a children’s room.

There will also be fencing and a back entryway for victims to help ensure their privacy.

“The amenities available at the new center are going to be astronomical compared to what we have now. We are really excited,” said Michelle Girtman, executive director for The Haven.  

The new Sexual Assault Center is being funded largely thanks to a $500,000 community development block grant written by the City of Remerton on behalf of The Haven.

“We welcome The Haven to the City of Remerton. We know this is not something to exactly look forward to having, but it is necessary. While this is something that we hope to one day not need, it is something we have to have at the moment. We hope for this center to be successful and hope that they can help as many victims as possible,” said Remerton Mayor Cornelius Holsendolph.

The Haven, whose mission is, “to provide victims with the necessary information, resources, protected head start and supportive follow-up to transition out of a violent lifestyle and into successful independent living,” is proud to be able to better serve victims in need through this new center.

Glenn Gregory is the architect for the project and Kellerman Construction is the contractor.

The Haven’s new Sexual Assault Center is expected to open in the next four to five months. It is located at 1805 Plum Street in Remerton.

For more information on The Haven, contact their 24 hour toll free crisis line at 1-800-33-HAVEN or their Valdosta line at (229)244-1765.