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Safe Horizon

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Safe Horizon
FoundedMay 26, 1978; 46 years ago (1978-05-26)[1]
Founded atNew York City, U.S.
Legal status501(c)(3)[2]
PurposeTo provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families, and communities.[3]
Headquarters2 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10007
ServicesVictim services
Michael C. Slocum[4]
Liz Roberts [5]
SubsidiariesHouston Housing Development Fund Corporation (501(c)(3))[3]
Revenue (2017)
Expenses (2017)$63,151,365[3]
Endowment130,428 (2017)[3]
Employees (2016)
Volunteers (2016)
Formerly called
Victim Services Agency

Safe Horizon, formerly the Victim Services Agency,[6] is the largest victim services nonprofit organization in the United States,[7][8] providing social services for victims of abuse and violent crime. Operating at 57 locations[9] throughout the five boroughs of New York City.[10] Safe Horizon provides social services to over 250,000 victims of violent crime and abuse and their families per year.[11] It has over 800 employees,[3][12] and has programs for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking, as well as homeless youth and the families of homicide victims.[13] Safe Horizon's website has been accessible for the Spanish-speaking population since 2012.[14] Safe Horizon has an annual budget of over $63 million.[3][15]


In 1975, a pilot program began in New York City's court system that addressed the need to assist criminal court witnesses who had been intimidated or who felt too threatened to testify in court.[16] Three years later, that pilot program became the Victim Services Agency, officially incorporated May 26, 1978,[1] and offering a broader array of services that helped more victims of crime and abuse. Lucy N. Friedman was Safe Horizon's founding executive director.[17] By 1981, the Victim Services Agency provided programs for victims of domestic violence, offering them shelter, counseling, and concrete support. Over the next three decades, the Victim Services Agency began various other programs to assist victims and their families during times of crisis. In 2000, the Victim Services Agency became Safe Horizon.

Today, Safe Horizon is the largest organization helping victims of crime and abuse in the United States,[18][19] helping more than 250,000 children, adults, and families each year. Since 2008, Safe Horizon has been under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Ariel Zwang.[20] Stephanie March has served as a member of Safe Horizon's Board.


Safe Horizon's stated mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families, and communities[21]


Safe Horizon operates four hotlines: a 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline;[22] a Crime Victims Hotline; a Rape, Sexual Assault, and Incest Hotline; and a Centralized Helpline. These hotlines are multilingual, with over 150 languages available.[23]

Domestic violence services[edit]

Safe Horizon helps tens of thousands of domestic violence survivors every year, through hotlines, court programs, community offices, and shelters.[24] Safe Horizon is the U.S.'s largest operator of domestic violence shelters,[25] with nine shelters located throughout the five boroughs of New York City. A domestic violence shelter was named in honor of Safe Horizon Board Member Steven C. Parrish in 2008.

Child advocacy centers[edit]

In 1996, Safe Horizon opened the United States's first fully co-located Child Advocacy Center.[26]

Safe Horizon is the U.S.'s largest operator of child advocacy centers in an urban setting,[27] with five fully accredited Child Advocacy Centers, located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx.[28]

Safe Horizon has helped victimized children overcome the trauma of abuse, partnering with the Yale Child Study Center on a new treatment, the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI).[29] CFTSI, a short-term therapy treatment that involves the participation of the non-offending caregiver, has been found to remarkably reduce the trauma symptoms of abused children.[30]

Anti-trafficking program[edit]

Safe Horizon's Anti-Trafficking Program (ATP) meets practical needs for victims of human trafficking, such as food, clothing, and shelter, as well as legal assistance. ATP was established in 2001[31] and has helped clients and provided intelligence to authorities allowing law enforcement to locate traffickers since its very beginnings.[32] Florrie R. Burke helped to found ATP.

ATP has represented the victims in several high-profile cases in recent years, including María Ríos Fun[33] and Sangeeta Richard [34][35][36]

ATP is supported by the federal Office of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime.[37] Safe Horizon is a member of Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.[38]

Streetwork Project[edit]

Safe Horizon's Streetwork Project provides homeless youth with food, clothing, shower and laundry facilities, HIV testing, counseling, emergency shelter and more. Staff work with clients towards long-term housing solutions and treatment for medical and mental health problems.[39] Ali Forney was a client of Safe Horizon's Streetwork Project.

Community programs[edit]

Safe Horizon operates four Community Program offices, in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan (which also serves the Bronx).[40]

Counseling center[edit]

Safe Horizon's Counseling Center is an out-patient mental health clinic focused specifically on treating survivors of trauma.[41] It is the only New York State-licensed mental health clinic specializing exclusively in treating traumatized victims of crime and abuse.[42]

Law projects[edit]

In addition to ATP's legal work for victims of human trafficking, Safe Horizon's Domestic Violence Law Project (DVLP) and Immigration Law Project (ILP) provide low-cost and free legal aid for victims of domestic violence[43] and immigrant victims of abuse or torture.

Since its inception, DVLP has provided legal advocacy and representation to thousands of low-income victims of domestic violence in family justice proceedings such for orders of protection, custody, support, and divorce proceedings. DVLP also advocates for clients within the criminal justice system.[44]

Project Safe[edit]

Safe Horizon's Project Safe provides free lock changes to victims of crime who have reason to believe the perpetrators may have access to their homes.[45][failed verification] In most cases, lock changes are available within 24 to 48 hours.[46]

9/11 disaster relief[edit]

From September 11, 2001, through June 2008, Safe Horizon provided disaster relief to the victims of 9/11 and their families through the Family Assistance Center.[47][48] As one of the largest charities assisting victims,[49] Safe Horizon provided counseling to hundreds of thousands of those affected, and hundreds of millions in relief dollars.[50]


  1. ^ a b "Safe Horizon, Inc." New York State Division of Corporations. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Safe Horizon Inc." Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Safe Horizon Inc. Guidestar. June 30, 2017.
  4. ^ "Board of Directors". Safe Horizon. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "]https://www.safehorizon.org/get-informed/executive-leadership/ Executive Leadership]". Safe Horizon. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "Better Business Bureau Report on Safe Horizon". Archived from the original on 2015-02-01. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  7. ^ MyCentralNewJersey.com, a subsidiary of The Courier News, interview with Amanda Stylianou
  8. ^ "Pace University New York City resources list". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  9. ^ "New York City government directory for victims". Archived from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  10. ^ "New York City government website article". Archived from the original on 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  11. ^ Guide Star's assessment of Safe Horizon
  12. ^ New York City government listing of Safe Horizon
  13. ^ "'Safe Horizon launches new Spanish-language website to aid victims of violence and crime,' the New York Daily News
  14. ^ "New York Nonprofit Press article". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  15. ^ Safe Horizon's description of their work
  16. ^ New York Times City Room interview
  17. ^ "Cooley LLP website". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  18. ^ The Bridgespan Group's February 2007 Assessment
  19. ^ Fast Company profile of Safe Horizon's CEO Ariel Zwang
  20. ^ Safe Horizon's About Us Page
  21. ^ NOW NYC's Domestic Violence Get Help Page
  22. ^ New York City government resource list for crime victims
  23. ^ National Association of Social Workers article
  24. ^ Safe Horizon's website
  25. ^ Joyful Heart Foundation's Spotlight
  26. ^ Safe Horizon's page on Child Advocacy Centers
  27. ^ New York Nonprofit Press article 'Safe Horizon Child Advocacy Centers Receive National Accreditation'
  28. ^ Yale Child Study Center Report
  29. ^ New York Times Blog Post 'A Brief Therapy Heals Trauma in Children'
  30. ^ "Human Trafficking Organization List". Archived from the original on 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  31. ^ "A Slow War on Human Trafficking (Published 2006)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2021-06-09.
  32. ^ New York Times article 'Housekeeper in New Jersey Accuses Peruvian Diplomat of Human Trafficking'
  33. ^ New York Times article 'Fury in India Over Diplomat’s Arrest in New York'
  34. ^ New York Times article 'Claims of Diplomats Mistreating Household Staff Are Far from the First'
  35. ^ New York Times article 'Indian Diplomat Flies Home After Indictment in U.S.'
  36. ^ Office Of Justice's Office for Victims Crime Report
  37. ^ Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women members list
  38. ^ "A Warm, Safe Holiday for Homeless Youth (Published 2009)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-06-17.
  39. ^ Safe Horizon's Community Programs address page
  40. ^ "Network of Care directory". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  41. ^ Safe Horizon's website
  42. ^ New York Times op-ed
  43. ^ LawHelpNY.org listing
  44. ^ Manhattan District Attorney's Office resources list
  45. ^ New York City government resources list
  46. ^ New York Times article 'Charity Overwhelmed in Bid to Meet Attack Victims Bills'
  47. ^ New York Times article 'Disasters Haven’t Abated but Cash Has, Groups Say'
  48. ^ New York Times article 'A NATION CHALLENGED: Victims' Families Lack Voice In Effort to Coordinate Relief'
  49. ^ New York Times article 'With Funds Winding Down, Questions Remain About Longer-Term Needs'