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Maple Grove Voice

SafeJourney Domestic Abuse Support Group Begins at Maple Grove Hospital

Dec 01, 2016 03:49PM ● By Wendy Erlien

(graphic provided by SafeJourney)

“We’re here for you.”  - SafeJourney Program Assistant Julie Voelker

For 22 years, nonprofit organization SafeJourney (based at North Memorial and Maple Grove Hospital) has been domestic abuse advocacy program focused on addressing medical, safety, emotional, and economic needs of women and men.  Services are free and confidential.

SafeJourney first began in 1994 at North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale. That first year, the program helped 51 victims of domestic abuse. More than 20 years later, the program has expanded to Maple Grove Hospital and has helped more than 19,800 women and men victims of domestic abuse – the youngest being a 13-year-old girl to an 83-year-old woman that had been married 61 years.

In October, a SafeJourney Support Group started at Maple Grove Hospital each Wednesday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (preregistration 763-581-3942). The group is a confidential place for women to receive education and support, share their experience, learn from others, find resources, develop personal goals, safety plans, and begin a process of healing, according to organizers.

Community members as well as patients of area clinics, Maple Grove Hospital, and North Memorial can access the 24-hour help line (763-581-3940) - which is available to women and men. Volunteer advocates “provide a lifeline for victims and their families in need of safe housing, orders for protection, financial assistance, documentation of injuries, and individual safety planning,” according to the Maple Grove Hospital website.

The organization has two full time staff members and an active volunteer base who, in 2015, donated more than 15,000 hours of their time to provide phone support, advocacy, lead support groups, and speak about their experience. 

“We have a really good [volunteer] group,” Voelker said.

The SafeJourney program focuses on providing support, resources, and safety planning.

“Our philosophy is not to tell people what to do,” Voelker said. “We want to make sure they have a safe place to go [shelter, family/friend] and help connect people to resources… there is always an advocate available to talk to them.”

Providing assistance extends beyond the initial contact.

“It can feel good [for people] to know there is someone out there that cares and believes in them – and to let them know ‘we’re here for you’,” Voelker said.

More Information:

24-Hour Advocacy Line  763-581-3940. If you are in immediate danger, dial 911.

Preregister for the weekly support group (6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Maple Grove Hospital; 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at North Memorial)   763-581-3942

To inquire about volunteering, donating contact SafeJourney at  763-581-3942 or




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