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San Francisco program saves young woman from assault


08:01 AM March 12th, 2013

March 12th, 2013 08:01 AM

SAN FRANCISCO–Police credited a child safety awareness campaign designed to protect students from violence and bullying with saving a young woman from assault.

A young woman on Feb. 21 was being assaulted on 7th Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood—which has many Filipino residents–but she knew of the SAFE HAVEN program and ran inside a designated Safe Haven site where she was given shelter and kept safe until members of the Police department arrived.

”The bad guy was arrested and he is now in jail,” said Police Chief Suhr. Speaking at the meeting of the San Francisco Police Commission in City Hall on March 6, Suhr cited awareness of Safe Haven, a violence prevention program in the South of Market Area (SoMA) as key in saving the young woman from the attacker.

Safe Haven is a safety awareness project of a San Francisco non-profit in collaboration with public school principals, business owners, the API Forum of the San Francisco Police Department and PG&E.

Children being bullied or mugged or threatened with physical harm, can seek shelter in any store or business displaying a yellow SAFE HAVEN sign.

As a designated SAFE HAVEN, the business or storefront owner will keep the child safe and call the necessary authorities (i.e. police and/or parents).

The PG&E funded program had three designated sites when it was first introduced in 2011 to Bessie Carmichael middle school on the occasion of Violence Prevention Month. The program currently has nine designated Safe Haven sites in the most crime- ridden triangle of the South of Market Area.

Plans to include coverage for seniors and expand the Safe Haven program in the Tenderloin and Chinatown are set to start in the summer.

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