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Tlaquepaque Village

In 1993, a small group of people founded a safehouse for victims of domestic violence.

In 1993, a small group of people founded a safehouse for victims of domestic violence.

Fifteen years later, the 28-bed Verde Valley Sanctuary is federally funded, staffed with more than 20 full-time employees and used as a go-to for both the Sedona and Cottonwood police departments, according to Executive Director Jane Hausner.

VVS helps families stay safe and explore their options, so they can make well-informed decisions, Hausner said.

VVS also visits schools to educate children about domestic violence, according to Carole Benedict, who leads Youth Empowerment Services, VVS’ school outreach program.

It’s usually crisis intervention, Benedict said, but YES also leads educational presentations to student groups and teachers.

In 1998, Hausner hired VVS’ first legal advocate. VVS’ legal advocacy services assist victims of domestic violence who may want to obtain orders of protection or press charges against their offenders, according to Hausner, and the services are free to anyone in the community — excluding perpetrators — who deal with violence in their homes.

VVS is funded primarily by grants, but also by donations and the Department of Economic Security. Many people and organizations in the community also offer support, Hausner said.


For the complete story, along with photos, please see page 1A .


 Tyler Midkiff

Larson Newspapers

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