SAFE is here for students and anyone in needWritten by Aja Gair
The traffic on Guadalupe and North Lamar is back to a crawl. There’s talk all over the radio and local TV about a building year for the Longhorns. Students from across town and across the world are huddled on the sidewalks.
Another fall semester has arrived in Austin. As always, SAFE is here for anyone who may need our services.
SAFE in Austin
We are midway through September, and what we know at SAFE is that we are coming off of a record-breaking month. In August, Eloise House – our 24/7 free clinic for sexual assault survivors – saw the most sexual assaults reported in a single month since we opened our doors two years ago.
This is not the kind of record that our city wants to set. Combined with estimates that as many as 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted on campus, we know that our work is cut out for us if we want to keep our campuses and our city safe.
As you or someone you love heads off to school this year, we want you to know that Austin has a team of specially trained individuals who are available to respond with compassion and support students (or anyone) who is sexually assaulted.
Nurses and advocates from SAFE are available around the clock at Eloise House, and via UT Health Services and local hospital ERs, to discuss a survivor’s options. Those options can range from a conversation with an advocate to STI testing and treatment, or from a forensic exam to assistance making a police report.
We know that sexual assault is never a survivor’s fault, and we are here at all hours, every day of the week, if you need us. If you or someone you know thinks they have been the victim of sexual assault, please contact our SAFEline at 512.267.SAFE (7233) via online chat at safeaustin.org/chat to speak with a crisis counselor and discuss the next steps.
Under Title IX, colleges that receive federal funding are legally required to respond to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Every school in compliance with Title IX has a Title IX Coordinator who can be contacted to report incidents of sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence.