45 years of supporting women and survivors of all identities!Written by SAFE
Yes, 45 years! For an immediate understanding of the depth, breadth, and scope of SAFE, just chart our beginnings and the names of the organizations that came together over the years to create The SAFE Alliance.
In 1974, community volunteers and survivors — mostly women — combined forces, not because someone told them to or because they got funding, but because they saw a problem that needed a dedicated response. They created the Austin Rape Crisis Center because they saw rape survivors in our community who needed support, safety, and justice.
Just four years later, another group of survivors and community members – many of those same volunteers – again came forward to create the Center for Battered Women. These early volunteers shared overnight duties at the shelter, answered a 24-hour hotline, took the linens home to wash, all while providing support and safety for women and children.
In 1984, community volunteers yet again came together to create the Austin Shelter for Infants and Children, ensuring children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect had a safe and nurturing place to stay.
Each organization was created by volunteers in response to a problem in the community. Each retained a strong commitment and belief that healing happens in and through community. As they evolved, each learned that the issues of violence and abuse don’t happen in silos; they are interconnected and complex. Through the years, our community has realized that we must end the generational cycles and societal patterns that create and perpetuate violence and abuse.
Knowing this, our predecessor organizations began coming together. In 1998 the Austin Rape Crisis Center and the Center for Battered Women merged to become SafePlace. In 2017, the Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace merged to become SAFE. At every step, our growth and changes have been informed by survivors and led by community volunteers.
Because of our community and support from people like you, we have accomplished so much over the last 45 years. We are beyond grateful to everyone who has contributed to this work. Thank you, Austin!