Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Helpers can make all the differenceWritten by The SAFE Alliance
In the early morning, our SAFEline advocates received a call from a man asking for help. Jason had met a young woman on Sixth Street who was scared. She told Jason her name was Felicia, she had been sexually assaulted, and she needed help.
Jason wasn’t sure what to do, so he called the SAFEline for guidance. Our advocates asked to speak with Felicia to discuss her options. Felicia appeared to have been drugged and was having difficulty talking.
She had been separated from her friends and lost her phone. She made it clear that she didn’t want to talk with police or emergency personnel. Beyond that, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.
Felicia said she wanted a safe space to rest her head for a few hours, and then she would decide if she wanted medical attention or a forensic exam. She told our SAFEline advocates she would like Jason to take her to the SAFE shelter on Grove Boulevard.
Upon arrival, our shelter staff were immediately concerned for Felicia’s safety. Her pulse was low and she couldn’t stand on her own. Jason said Felicia’s condition had worsened on the ride to SAFE.
Staff made the decision to call Emergency Medical Services and Felicia was taken to a hospital emergency room. Exhausted and still concerned for Felicia’s safety, Jason went home for the night.
The next day, we received a call from Felicia. She thanked our team for making sure she received medical attention. She also decided to come to Eloise House for a sexual assault forensic exam.
That same day, we heard back from Jason. He said the past 24-hours had been life-changing and he wanted to enroll in SAFE volunteer training to learn as much about sexual assault and domestic violence as he could. He wanted to support survivors like Felicia as best as he could.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault includes any unwanted sexual contact with someone who is unwilling or unable to give consent – including being under 17 years old, disabled, intoxicated, drugged, or unconscious. If you or someone you know has been sexual assaulted or isn’t sure about what happened, contact the SAFEline by calling 512.267.SAFE (7233), texting 737.888.7233, or visiting safeaustin.org/chat.