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2004 National Crime Victim Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

SafePlace | National Crime Victim Service Award
Team Members: Angela Atwood; Thomasina Olaniyi-Oke
Austin, Texas

SafePlace is the primary provider of direct and comprehensive services to women, children, and men who are victimized by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence in the Austin/Travis County, Texas, community. For almost three decades, SafePlace and its predecessor organizations have provided comprehensive intervention and prevention services to break the cycle of violence. 

Services range from a 24-hour hotline and emergency shelter and hospital accompaniment for rape survivors to longer term services such as counseling, legal advocacy, and transitional housing. SafePlace also offers outreach, education, and prevention programs to help community members better identify and address sexual and domestic violence issues. 

In 1996, it established its Disability Services ASAP Program to promote healthy and violence-free relationships for children, youth, and adults with any type of disability. Among the first programs in the Nation to offer both abuse prevention and crisis intervention services, it provides assistance to individuals with cognitive, physical, sensory, speech, and psychiatric disabilities. 

The program has provided prevention education to more than 15,000 children and adults, and its training curriculum has been sold in more than 30 states and 4 countries. Recently, it was awarded U.S. Department of Justice funding to set up 10 local sites to provide services to victims with disabilities. 

SafePlace also provides school-based services through its Expect Respect Program, which includes a bullying prevention program for students and staff at area elementary schools and training for secondary school staff on how to promote safe and healthy youth relationships. 

Its BabySafe Program provides support services to pregnant battered women, as well as training for professionals on domestic violence, pregnancy, and related issues. A recently established men's outreach and education project engages boys and young men in the work to end violence against women.