Ruth's Cottage Domestic Violence Prevention Program
Ruth’s Cottage is a domestic violence prevention program which includes the provision of a 25-bed emergency shelter for all victims. Residents usually stay an initial four to six weeks and shelter staff work with them to make goals and plans for a safe life, post shelter. While at the shelter, all basic needs of the men, women and children are met while their emotional and education needs are also addressed through referrals to area agencies and support groups.
The program also provides a 24/7 crisis line manned by shelter advocates who assist by providing shelter arrangements, immediate safety planning, referrals, and/or linkage to the agency’s legal advocates.
Ruth’s Cottage employs two full-time and one part-time legal advocates who provide assistance with application for temporary protection orders, do lethality assessments and develop safety plans for those not entering shelter.
Ruth’s Cottage staff educates and provides community awareness on topics related to family violence including teen dating violence, legal advocacy and DV 101.
Ruth's Cottage Sexual Assault Advocacy Program
Ruth’s Cottage also houses our Sexual Assault Advocacy Program that started in January of 2018 to make the Tifton Judicial Circuit Shelter, Inc. a triple program agency. The agency's 24/7 Crisis Hotline serves the sexual assault program. The Sexual Assault Program is staffed by the Program Manager and Sexual Assault Advocates. Once local law enforcement and/or the hospital call the hotline, the victim will have an advocate by their side within 30 minutes.
The advocate’s first contact with the victim will generally be at the hospital for the forensic exam. If the victim so chooses, the advocate will also accompany the victim to interviews with law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office, as well as go to court if the case progresses that far. The advocates will also provide assistance with mental health services, filing for crime victim’s compensation, and provide support during follow-up medical exams. The advocate’s primary role is to solely be there to support the victim with their presence and provide resources and advocacy.
The Sexual Assault Program Manager will also provide community outreach and education about this program and sexual assault and consent. These presentations will be customized for different age groups.