According to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey nearly one-third of American women report being raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former boyfriend at some point in their lives. An estimated 4.5 million physical assaults are committed against U.S. women by intimate partners annually. Arizona has the second highest rate of women killed by men in the nation. CONTACTS, the initial point of contact for women seeking shelter in Maricopa County, has reported that during fiscal year 2008-2009, 9,951 women sought shelter through their hotline.

Elim House Domestic Violence Shelter provides a 30-day safe haven for women and their children who have experienced abuse.If circumstances require a longer stay, clients and their advocate develop a plan for extension up to 120 days. During an individual's stay, they receive case management/advocacy services, which focus on the development of a safety plan and personal goals. Clients are referred for services that extend beyond those provided by the shelter. Individual empowerment counseling is also offered to residents.

Clients are asked to attend psycho-educational group counseling throughout their stay, which focuses on topics such as self-esteem, self care, types of abuse, abuse cycle, community resources, and empowerment.The goal is to empower survivors so they can make choices and positively affect their future.

The program consists of three phases:

  • Educational Phase-Clients are assisted with respite, defining and identifying their goals, and learning about domestic violence.
  • Achievement Phase-Clients receive assistance in attaining their goals, support through Life Skills groups, and participation in continued domestic violence education.
  • Self-Sufficiency Phase-Transitions clients from the shelter into a stable living situation.Review of their safety plans, financial planning and follow through, and referrals to long-term counseling and support are given.

Children ages 3-17 staying at Elim House may participate in individual counseling and psycho-educational groups that focus on violence, safety planning, and how to express their feelings in a healthy manner. Children are required to attend local schools and may choose to participate in various after-school activities offered in the shelter by staff and volunteers.