Crisis Intervention

You may be unsure where to turn or who you can trust. Perhaps you don’t know where to get help. The process may seem overwhelming.

The St. Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (SPIP) is here to support you — to listen, offer information and advocate on your behalf to help you get what you need.

SPIP provides confidential and compassionate direct advocacy, safety planning, support, information and resources. Our advocates insure that your rights are upheld and your voice is heard. Upon first contact, you (and your children) will receive immediate support and assistance. Call  651-645-2824 on our 24-hour crisis-line.

You are believed and you are not alone.

How We Can Help You

It can feel intimidating and overwhelming facing the legal/justice system alone. Fear of the unknown keeps many victims from receiving help when they need it. Your SPIP advocates work by your side every step of the way, offering legal advocacy and support throughout the criminal and civil justice system process.

We provide assistance navigating the justice system, working to ensure your voice is heard and needs are met. Our legal advocates provide a full spectrum of services; from the initial police response and throughout the court proceedings to the final resolution of the case and beyond if needed.

  • Home visits and enhanced contact with victims of highly lethal offenders
  • Navigation and tracking cases through the system
  • Explanation of your legal rights and options
  • Help accessing and utilizing the system
  • Securing safety and protection for you and your children
  • Assistance in securing Protective Orders
  • Support in challenging the system, if necessary

SPIP’s legal services work to ensure you have access to critical legal representation and advice in civil court issues. Our attorneys work closely with our advocates so you (and your children) will benefit from SPIP's holistic response in securing the protections and services you need to move forward. SPIP’s Civil Legal Program provides:

  • Legal representation in obtaining protective orders and family/civil court issues
  • Legal advice pertaining to civil/family court issues
  • On-site legal clinics

SPIP works with victims (and their children) from wherever they are at in their process. Whether you choose to stay in the relationship, are attempting to leave or are uncertain of what you wish to do - we provide 24-hour, sensitive support services based on your unique situation:

  • Twenty-four-hour, confidential crisis, life planning and transitional services
  • Latinx, Southeast Asian, Muslim and immigrant domestic violence-specific programming and services
  • Multi-lingual/multi-cultural services
  • Life-stage services, information and referrals - from adolescents/young adults to older victims and for the children of victims

We offer life planning and transitional services to assist you in securing your and your children basic and long-term needs to move forward and live free from violence.

  • Meeting your and your children's emergency needs and assisting you in securing the resources to ensure your family's continuing wellbeing
  • Assisting in maintaining or securing safe, long-term Housing
  • Obtaining phones, home security measures and transportation
  • Assistance with financial needs
  • Accessing Medical and Mental Heath services
  • Assistance with food, clothing and basic needs
  • Referrals and information for education and employment
  • On-going safety planning

SPIP weekly support and education groups assist victims/survivors in breaking their isolation, becoming knowledgeable of beneficial opportunities and resources, and creating a network of support. Weekly groups are in English and Spanish, and include a General Support Group, designed for all victims; Latina Support Group; Older Victims Groups, and on-site
Groups held at local college campuses.

Many of our groups offer supervised activities and play time for the children of the participants attending our groups.

Acute intervention services are at the heart of our agency. SPIP advocates reach out to victims immediately after we contacted by the St. Paul Police about an assault or domestic incident, providing crisis intervention, advocacy, information and increased protections.

That first contact with victims, many who may not even know services are available, sets the foundation for an ongoing relationship of advocacy and support.

Works effectively within the criminal justice and government systems to provide education on domestic abuse and the barriers victims face, improve accessibility and the responses to
domestic violence, and promote policies and practices so all victims can receive the services they deserve.

SPIP responds to over 10,000 calls each year for support, information, and referrals on our 24- hour crisis line.

SPIP advocates work diligently with victims to ensure the safety, basic needs and long-term well-being of their children are met. Services range from clothing, food and childcare resources to educational needs, counseling, and medical care.

SPIP works in partnership with the medical community in educating health care staff on domestic violence and ensuring patients who are deliberately abused can receive services and protection they deserve.

SPIP offers immediate and long-term support for victims and their families in focusing on their emotional well-being. From supportive listening and culturally/linguistically specific Support and Education Groups to assistance in accessing mental health providers who have been trained on domestic violence and/or screened for meeting an array of victims/participants needs.

A safe haven for victims of domestic abuse. SPIP acts as a lead partner and administrator for BTS, a collaboratively run victim service center. BTS offers an array of services, ranging from culturally and linguistically diverse advocacy services and assistance in obtaining protective/restraining orders, to legal aid services in civil/family law matters and critical transitional services in meeting victims and their family’s’ basic needs from food/clothing to housing and financial support. It is located in a safe location within the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul.

The provision of culturally appropriate and diverse programming helps build resiliency, fosters dignity, and creates a sense of belonging and trust.

SPIP’s culturally and linguistically specific services strive to ensure that its diverse programming is delivered by staff who understand the cultures, lifestyles, and realities of the people we serve. Staff speak English, Croatian, Spanish, Hmong, French, Serbian, Bosnian, Russian and Somali languages.

Our brochures and materials are available in Spanish, English, Hmong, Somali, Russian, Cambodian and Vietnamese, and in large font for visually impaired victims. SPIP’s direct service
provision and 24-hour crisis line utilizes multilingual staff as well as spoken language interpreters for limited English proficiency participants, and the Minnesota Relay Service, Video Relay Services (VRS) and ASL interpreters for communication with Deaf and hard of hearing participants.

SPIP works from the premise that in order to be successful, services and programing must be brought directly to the victims. Our advocates reach out directly to victims immediately following a domestic assault/incident; conduct home visits, meet with victims at clinics/hospitals, the courthouse or other locations as needed.

Our building on Dayton Avenue is a very welcoming environment. There is natural light, a color scheme of cool and calming hues, a comfortable group room, private meeting spaces and a magical play area for the children. SPIP’s diverse staff all contribute to the warm atmosphere for the participants we serve.

There is a ramp and stairs to ensure the building is physically accessible to all, and an elevator recently added to the building. The side parking lot and entrance provides privacy for service recipients, has braille interior and exterior signage, and is security controlled with both video and intercom.

Our advocates also provide services at Bridges to Safety (BTS) - a collaborative victim service center which was designed with diverse victim input to be a welcoming/safe haven for all victims and their children.

What Can You Expect From Your Advocate?

  • Timely response
  • Non-judgmental support
  • Compassionate encouragement
  • Heartfelt listening and validation
  • Undivided loyalty
  • Confidentiality and privacy

“You may have been alone in your journey so far, but it doesn't have to be that way. We are here to help."

Stories of Hope

Thank you for making me feel seen and heard, especially in a time when I was too scared to reach out myself for help. Thank you for always being here for me no matter what, even when I am having self-doubt.

What each and every one of you does matters – you guys saved me not only from my abuser but my own intrusive thoughts. I never felt more cared about.  You guys taught me that domestic violence is not something to be ashamed about, even when some in my community said otherwise.

Thank you for giving me my voice back. I pray for each and every one of you every day, even the ones I have not been fortunate to work with in your office. I pray for everyone at SPIP every day.

The experience of intergenerational family violence is painful and dehumanizing. The experience of receiving services from St. Paul Intervention Project (SPIP) is powerful and liberating.

St. Paul Intervention stood with me in 2010 and now in 2024. In 2010, I suffered from a severe concussion due to family violence. I recently suffered another concussion again due to family violence. The purpose of this letter is to thank St. Paul Intervention Project for being present in my life as I journeyed through another incident of family violence at the age of 71.

The outcome was not exactly what I wanted, yet, it was exactly what I needed. I wanted a two-year Order for Protection, yet, for a variety of reasons it did not happen. We did get to an
agreement with the help of a St. Paul Intervention lawyer. I felt mindful support from the first phone call out, to the last phone call in.

The first phone call out was my asking for help. There was immediate response from a bi-lingual (Spanish/English) legal advocate. I was able to speak Spanish throughout the interview. I felt safe and culturally supported as a person experiencing intergenerational Family Violence.

There were follow-up calls in preparation for court hearings. The legal advocates worked as a team.

The legal advocates and the assigned lawyer were efficient, quick, compassionate, insightful, nonjudgmental and smart. The final call was the most important call for me. The final call was the call asking, “How are you feeling now that it's over?” Such an important call! I felt immense waves of gratitude. I felt supported, connected, admired, honored, and most of all I felt
community love. The relationship to a community is vital to the wellbeing of a person experiencing family violence. The last words of the legal advocate follow-up call were: “We are
here for you.”

Shame is disempowering. The SPIP experience dissolved my shame. I am very proud to say, the St. Paul Intervention Project is part of my community hope and essential to my liberation project.

The St. Paul Intervention project reminded me again that… I am not alone.

Thank you all so much,
Intergenerational Family Violence survivor/community elder

The first time my boyfriend beat me, I laid there crying for 30 minutes and couldn’t move. From that point on, I knew real fear. I never felt fearful of a man before. I became quiet. I didn’t stand up to him anymore. He knew I was afraid of him.

I wasn’t allowed to sleep and lost a lot of weight. Eventually, I lost my job, and we were living off my savings. I remember thinking everyone was mad at me, and I really wasn’t any good for anyone.

Often, he would lock me in a room and wouldn’t let me out. Hours went by, and days, until I finally agreed to do something he wanted. He kept getting meaner and scarier each day. I was covered in bruises almost all the time, spent so much time locked in a room and was always frightened.

I went to a friend’s, and even though my friend wanted me to stay, I felt I needed to go back, take care of my things and figure things out. When I got home, he began to punch and kick me, and then started choking me. I started to black out and believed I was going to die. I remember just lying there, curled up in a ball, feeling incredible pain and wanting to be free.

The next day I left, and he continued to harass me. I was at my mother’s alone, and he found me in the garage. He broke my windshield, grabbed the car door, and pulled me out by the
hair. He kept holding me by the hair, beating me with his fist. I tried screaming for help when he dropped me to the ground and continued beating me. There was blood everywhere.

Eventually, the beating stopped. He had left. I crawled to the door and called 911. I was hospitalized and had to have five staples in my head. Every part of my body was bruised or

It is hard to ask for or accept help – especially when you have been broken. But my friend told me about the St. Paul Intervention Project and how their advocates could help me. I worked
with SPIP, went to Bridges to Safety, and filed for an Order for Protection with the domestic abuse office. I was offered a safe haven at a shelter. My SPIP advocates were there for me
24/7, every step of the way. I was no longer afraid to get help. And the police, prosecutors, the jail, and the bench all made me feel comfortable and worked hard so I could be safe.
I know that there is a huge umbrella of people in our community who care that I’ve never met. From domestic violence programs, community programs and foundations, to government and community leaders, and members of the community.

Once I made that phone call, all these people became a security wall around me to protect me. I didn’t feel so lost. I could shift from fear and didn’t have to look over my shoulder. I could begin healing.

For years now, I have been in a relationship with a man who is amazing. He is wonderful to my daughter and son, and we have a beautiful home. And I have a community who loves me.

To those of you who work to end domestic violence and help victims – your hard work does save lives. To all the advocates who go above and beyond, who speak for you when you can’t, who are fearless and always there for you…you are amazing.

And to victims…. the first step is always the hardest once you work up the courage to reach out. You finally saying you need help won’t go unnoticed. You will have multiple people taking you seriously and working to keep you safe. Your life will change.

Growing up, I suffered greatly. My mother was beaten by my father, and I feared at times he would kill her. She was bedridden, and as a girl, I was responsible for the running of the house. My father abused me too – in every possible way. If a boy ever looked at me, my father would beat me. I was anxious and sick all the time and desperate to leave.

The young man I fell in love with turned out to be selfish and cruel. He would constantly ridicule me, telling me I looked awful, that I was a cockroach, and nobody would ever love me
except him. In his eyes, I was a servant that he could control. He would take our money, food, and talk about being with other women. He would threaten me and be mean and forceful for sex.

And when I became pregnant, he left. I never knew services were available to help me. One night, when the police were called, an advocate reached out to me and told me all about SPIP. I was fearful of the court process, but my advocate kept me informed of everything that took place and shared my fears and wishes with the police and courts. SPIP also helped me find resources for my special needs son and family. Each time I speak with someone from SPIP, I feel stronger.

Every week, I love to come to SPIP’s support and education groups. I am usually a person who is shy and likes to hide. Slowly, with the other women I became less shy and just came out. We laugh and support each other and have that precious, safe time that is just for us. Now, I tell other women being abused about SPIP, the police and courts, and how they help you to become safe and grow. And that SPIP helps you to love and value yourself and support others.

When I heard about the mosaic, I wanted to participate. For me, it represents that together we are bigger, stronger and can do so much. When I learned that advocates, victims, justice system workers, political leaders and the community were all helping to create this… it made me feel good. That we are all involved, want to make a difference and make better lives for everyone.

And like the mosaic, our community would be beautiful if we end domestic violence.

En Español:

Durante mi niñez y juventud yo sufrí mucho. Mi padre golpeaba a mi mamá y a veces temía que la iba a dejar muerta. Mi mamá era discapacitada y no podía levantarse de su cama, y por ser la niña de la casa me tocó hacer todo lo relacionado con la casa. Mi papá también abusó de mi en todas las maneras posibles. Si un muchacho se fijara en mí, mi papá me daba una paliza. Yo siempre estaba enferma y ansiosa todo el tiempo, y desesperada para huirme de la casa.

El muchacho con quien me enamoré resultó ser muy cruel y egoísta. Constantemente se burlaba de me, diciéndome que me veía horrible, que yo era una cucaracha y nadie jamás me amaría sino solo él. En sus ojos yo era una sirvienta quien él podría control, gastando nuestro dinero y quitándome la comida y todo mientras hablaba de estar sexualmente con otras mujeres. El me amenazaba y me maltrataba y también me forzaba a tener relaciones sexuales. Y cuando salí embarazada, me abandonó.

Nunca supe que existían servicios para ayudarme. Una noche cuando la policía fue llamada, una intercesora se puso en comunicación conmigo y me explicó todo lo que SPIP ofrecía. Yo tenía miedo del proceso de la corte, pero mi intercesora me mantuvo informada de todo lo que pasaba, y comunicó mis temores y deseos con la policía y la corte. SPIP también me ayudó a encontrar recursos para mi hijo quien tiene necesidades especiales y mi familia. Cada vez que yo hablo con alguien de SPIP me siento más fuerte.

Disfruto mucho cada vez que asisto a uno de los grupos semanales de apoyo y educación. Usualmente soy una persona tímida que prefiere esconderse. Con la asociación con las demás mujeres, poco a poquito he cobrado más ánimo, hasta que un día salí por completo. Nos reímos y nos apoyamos mutualmente, y ahora tenemos este tiempo seguro y precioso solo para nosotras.

Ahora yo les platico aviso a otras mujeres que están siendo maltratadas solore los servicios de SPIP, la policía y las cortes. Y les platico ellos nos ayudan a crecer y sentirnos seguras Y que SPIP nos ayuda a querernos y a valorarnos, y apoyar a otras.

Cuando me enteré d el mosaico quise participar. Para mi, el mosaico representa que juntas somos mas grandes, fuertes y podemos hacer mucho mas. Me sentí tan bien cuando supe que las intercesoras, las víctimas, los trabajadores del sistema judicial, los líderes políticos y la comunidad, todos estaban creándolo juntos….que todos estamos envueltos y queremos hacer una diferencia y queremos mejorar las vidas de todos. Y como el mosaico, nuestra comunidad sería bella si logremos poner fin a la violencia doméstica.