Erika*, 15, who was once a good student, began experiencing problems at home and was frequently abused by her mother. She skipped classes on a regular basis and loitered in local parks until dark. After receiving her latest report card with failing grades, Erika was afraid to return home to face her mother.She remembered learning about “Safe Place” during a school assembly the year before, and knew of a store near her home that displayed the yellow and black logo. Erika entered to ask the clerk for help. Store employees, trained by Youth Emergency Service (YES) staff, responded to Erika’s plea. They calmed her down and contacted an employee at YES, who promptly picked up Erika. At the shelter, she received immediate counseling. Erika’s social worker engaged her mother and helped her address the cause of her abusive behavior. Eventually, Erika was able to return home. Her school attendance picked up, and her grades rebounded. Erika and her mother continue to attend family counseling.
*names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.