Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the purpose of Mary’s Place?At Mary’s Place, our primary purpose is to prevent kidnappings, injuries, and homicides and to keep the victim and their children safe. We do this by providing safety in three time frames: during the two-hour supervised parent/child visit; during the two years following the parents separating; and during the 20 years of co-parenting. Mary’s Place also supports children in forming safe and healthy relationships with their parents.
Why is Mary’s Place a part of Saving Grace?
As a nonprofit domestic violence agency, Saving Grace is uniquely qualified to assess and manage the risks associated with post-separation violence. Before Mary’s Place, the Sheriff’s Office received 66 requests a month to monitor exchanges, from victims desperate for a safer option than a convenience store parking lot or relative’s house.
Who does Mary’s Place serve?Mary’s Place serves nearly 400 parents and children each year, providing up to 7,000 services. Clients are typically referred to Mary’s Place by the court after one parent files a restraining order, but clients can also self-refer. Because of the limitations of our grant funding, we primarily serve clients in Deschutes County.
Is there any cost for services?Mary’s Place services are provided free of charge, thanks to a combination of private donations, family foundations, and federal funding.
How does Mary’s Place work?
Mary’s Place takes a relational approach to maintaining safety, which means that staff get to know all participants so we can what is really going on and how we can prevent future violence Before starting services, each family member has a private intake with staff to assess their needs, concerns, and experiences. When the time comes for a supervised visitation or exchange, the offending parent arrives 15 minutes earlier and departs 15 minutes later than the non-offending parent through a separate entrance, to prevent stalking or any other contact between the parents.
During supervised visits, a Mary’s Place facilitator is in the classroom with the parent and child(ren) while they interact to ensure that the visit stay physically and emotionally safe. Facilitators also work with batterers to redirect their focus from retaliating against the victim to building a healthy, positive parent-child relationship.
Outside of visits and exchanges, Mary’s Place staff are in constant communication with community partners – parole and probation, mental health, etc. – to stay informed about potential threats to non-offending parents and children as well as challenges offending parents might be struggling with.