In 1970 the first shelters for battered women opened around the nation. Miami's Safespace began operating in 1977, in a location kept secret so the abused could not easily be hunted down. In 1978 Reed Memorial Hospital on NE 79th Street closed. It became a hangout for druggies and such, a shithole. Seven years ago Metro-Dade put a million dollars into renovating the space and made it the headquarters of Advocates for Victims, of which Safespace is one part. Today Safespace has 63 beds, plus eighteen more at its South Dade location. There is no charge for its services. "We're almost always full," says Advocates director Robert Schroeder. "In fact, this is the first month in two years that we're not full. But we're close." The fact that shelters are often packed should not discourage the battered from seeking help; it should encourage everyone to build more places of safety. The phone number at Safespace is 758-2546.
Barbero of Babes in Toyland lives in Minneapolis, where she and the other two members of the band recorded Spanking Machine for Twin/Tone, before being signed to Reprise and achieving much acclaim, critical and popular, for records such as Fontanelle and Painkillers. Barbero says the band is "really excited" about the Miami show, because "it's for a good cause." And then she mentions something that happened recently. "In my neighborhood, there were all these houses, like four blocks away from me, crack houses. I kept thinking, God I wish they'd tear them down. For seven months I kept hoping they'd tear them down. Well, they've torn down nine of the houses. I was so happy. I was walking by there the day before yesterday and I saw construction going on. I asked the workers what was going to be built there. They said the Harriet Tubman House for Abused Women. I went, 'Yeah!' I was so excited. They're tearing down crack houses and building a big shelter for battered women. The first thing I thought was that we'll do a local benefit show for it."
Babes in Toyland, 7 Year Bitch, Jack Off Jill, and Livid Kittens perform at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) at the Cameo Theatre, 1445 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 673-9787. The donation is $8. Ticketmaster will add an additional charge at the door.