Please note: ALIVE provides services only to domestic violence victims. However, all of our services are available to males as well as females.
Crisis Hotline and Crisis Intervention
Professional staff and trained volunteers provide immediate assistance to victims of family violence 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The initial crisis call is often the first time someone has been willing to listen to a victim's story without criticizing or passing judgment. The person who answers the crisis line can:
- Complete a safety plan with the victim
- Give information about victims' legal rights, including the Crime Victims Compensation Fund
- Provide information about ALIVE's services
- Answer questions the victim might have
- Make appropriate referrals
- Schedule an intake
Our crisis line ensures that victims have immediate access to well-informed advocates who explore options and offer appropriate referrals. Assessment and safety planning provide callers with the necessary tools to establish physical safety for themselves and their children. Victims feel less isolated, less responsible for the violence, and more empowered when they have spoken to advocates who are available for support.
During office hours, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the crisis line is answered by staff members and trained volunteers. After office hours, calls are answered by an informed, issue-aware answering service, trained to use a special protocol for screening and processing our calls. The calls are then routed to the volunteer on call, who is always backed up by two staff members on call. ALIVE’s 24-hour crisis line is available in the St. Louis area and in Franklin County, which also has a toll-free number.
Nights of Safety
Our Nights of Safety program remains true to ALIVE's founders' original concept of providing temporary emergency shelter and transportation to victims of domestic violence, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Unique in the St. Louis area, this emergency sanctuary program is utilized when there are no available beds in St. Louis-area domestic violence shelters. During Fiscal Year 2013/14, 292 victims of domestic violence and their 401 children received emergency shelter, totaling 5,180 Nights of Safety.
One problem women often encounter when fleeing abusive relationships is that many domestic violence shelters will not accept male children over 17 years of age who might be traveling with their mothers. This factor makes the decision to leave a relationship even more difficult. ALIVE’s program has no age limit for male children.
Domestic violence shelter space is very limited and area shelters are often filled to capacity. When a woman has several children, it makes finding shelter space even harder. ALIVE’s program has no limit on the number of children an individual can bring. Our sanctuary is never full.
When victims call ALIVE's 24-hour crisis line for emergency shelter, they can be assured that they will not have to spend another night in danger, despite a lack of personal resources or local shelter availability. ALIVE also provides transportation to adults and children in crisis, using cab and bus companies. The basic needs of victims and their children will be met, thus enabling them to set goals for developing self-sufficiency and personal safety.
Individual Counseling and Support Groups for Adults
A part of ALIVE's vision is to help women end the cycle of violence within their own families. In seeking to do so, ALIVE offers individual counseling services for both adults and children.
Our adult counseling is designed to be crisis-oriented and last from six weeks to six months. However, longer-term therapy is available if the client expresses the need. Most clients in individual therapy receive one-hour sessions weekly. ALIVE is fortunate licensure, who conduct our adult counseling services.
During individual counseling sessions, clients formulate personal goals and objectives. Counselors routinely review progress with clients and make adjustments as needed and decided by clients. While being affiliated with ALIVE's services, clients consistently report an increase in their levels of self-esteem, satisfaction with life, and the amount of control they feel they have over their lives.
Many ALIVE clients are interested in attending our open-ended, ongoing support groups. Meetings are currently held once a week in each office. Groups are psycho-educational in content and clients may attend as many sessions as they wish for as long as they feel it is helpful. Just as in individual counseling, clients formulate personal goals and objectives.
Children's Treatment Program
ALIVE started the first non-residential counseling program in the St. Louis area specifically designed for children who have been affected by domestic violence. Most other programs take place within a shelter environment. However, the greater St. Louis area provides only about 50 shelter beds for children exposed to domestic violence. In addition, the number of families affected by domestic violence far exceeds the number of available shelter beds.
The overall goal of our Children's Treatment Program is to enhance the psychological well-being of the child, adolescent and parent(s). The process begins with a parent interview. Parents, and sometimes the child, also complete assessment tools, such as the Childhood Behavior Checklist, the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children, and the Parenting Stress Inventory. These assessments help the therapists identify the issues at hand and an appropriate treatment plan to address them. Treatment usually includes play therapy or art therapy and individual and family counseling.
Treatment takes place regularly for a period of eight sessions, after which a second assessment is performed to monitor progress and indicate the next step(s) in treatment. Treatment can last up to 12 weeks or more, depending on the state of the child and the child/parent relationship.
Dialogue with parents, teachers, and other mental health professionals is used to monitor achievements and formulate goals on an ongoing basis. ALIVE's goal is to provide parents with a parenting plan that is appropriate to their situation and environment, and to see an improvement in scores on the assessments.
During an intake or a crisis call, ALIVE can also make a court advocate available. Understanding a court process can be difficult in a nonviolent situation, and when an emotionally charged domestic violence situation is added to the equation, the issue can become even more confusing.
Once clients have decided they are in need of an Order of Protection, an ALIVE court advocate can help them understand and maneuver through the court system. Our two Crisis Intervention professionals have many years of experience working as court advocates for victims of abuse. With their expertise, clients are able to obtain assistance with filing Ex-Parte and Full Orders of Protection. We also advocate with clients during divorce and child custody hearings.The Anti-Violence Advocacy Project (AVAP of ALIVE)
The mission of AVAP is to provide education and advocacy that addresses intimate and sociopolitical violence and oppression based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
AVAP began as a volunteer effort in the St. Louis community that supports and advocates for policies and practices that promote equality, freedom and respect for the full range of sexual orientations and gender identifications and expressions. In 2010, ALIVE absorbed the project and established AVAP as one of many programs addressing intimate partner violence in relationships and communities. ALIVE can provide many direct services to LGBTQ victims of intimate partner violence, including crisis intervention, safety planning, Nights of Safety emergency shelter, adult and child counseling, court advocacy and referrals to other LGBTQ friendly organizations. In addition to direct services, AVAP of ALIVE can provide education services for any community and professional groups interested in learning more about intimate partner violence and/or hate crimes in the LGBTQ community.
ALIVE works in partnership with the Crime Victim’s Advocacy Center (CVAC) to provide information and direct LGBTQ-friendly services for hate crime victims. CVAC services include crisis intervention, adult and child counseling, providing information regarding victims’ legal rights, criminal justice guidance, and assistance with filing for victim’s compensation.
All AVAP services can be accessed through ALIVE’s 24-hour crisis line at 314-993-2777