SafePlace is a non-profit in Austin, TX that is ending sexual and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change.

If you or someone you know needs help, call our
24-Hour Hotline 512.267.SAFE, for HH/Deaf/Blind, use relay/VRS
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Bob Saget: Saying fuck you to gender roles since 1994.

(via upworthy)

The Statesman Capital 10,000 is one of the biggest road races in Texas, and an Austin tradition. SafePlace was fortunate to be the exclusive beneficiary of this year’s race.

SafePlace staff enjoyed a birds-eye view of the event from the top of the Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing building (shown in picture above: Director of Development Candace Lopez and Executive Director Julia Spann). The day itself may have been gray, but Sunday’s rain didn’t stop more than 17,500 runners — or thousands more who showed up to cheer them on!

Runners lining up!

Runners lining up!

Every one of those 17,500 runners had a part in supporting essential SafePlace services, which helped 5,453 adults and children escape, heal, and recover from violent homes and relationships in 2013. ”Being selected as a Cap 10K beneficiary is not only a great honor, but it also has a significant impact on our ability to meet the enormous need for SafePlace services in the Austin community,” explained Executive Director Julia Spann.

A big THANK YOU to the Austin American-Statesman for choosing SafePlace as the 2014 beneficiary, and to everyone who made donations to SafePlace through this event!  We are grateful to live, work, and serve in such a generous community.

Julia Spann and Candace Lopez accepting the donation

Julia Spann and Candace Lopez accepting the donation

Learn more about the Statesman Capital 10,000 here.




The backlog of rape kits has put justice on hold for a lot of people. Back in 2009, more than 11,000 untested kits were found in a Detroit Police Department storage facility. Some were more than 25 years old.

Mariska Hargitay speaks on some of the issues surrounding the rape kit backlog in Detroit, Michigan. #endthebacklog (x)

It costs between $1,000 – $1,500 to test every single rape kit. There are over 10,000 kits left in Detroit’s rape kit backlog. Your donation can go directly to testing them. Donate to the Detroit Crime Commission’s backlog initiative by clicking here.

I am pretty explicitly anti-police in every respect. But I support Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy and her push to catalogue the egregious backlog of unprocessed rape kits in Detroit. 

Her work has already identified countless serial rapists in southeast Michigan, and will continue to identify these rapist pieces of shit as she moves forward.

Who cares if this process leads to conviction or not. Just give us the list. We can take care of the rest.

"After Detroit tested the first 10% of its backlogged kits, authorities were able to link cases to 46 serial rapists." (x)

Just think about it: 46 serial rapists. And the evidence against them was out there, all the time, in those backlogged kits. And that’s just 10% of them

(via upworthy)

April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week!

While it is always important to recognize all that volunteers give to our organization, it’s wonderful to have a whole week dedicated to volunteer appreciation!

In 2013, 639 SafePlace volunteers gave their time, energy and support to domestic and sexual violence survivors. In honor of National Volunteer Week, two of our volunteers, Donald and Lacey, generously shared the story of how they came to SafePlace, and why volunteering here is something that anyone can do.

Lacey found SafePlace when she was researching volunteer opportunities, and Donald decided to tag along so they could spend the time together. They went through the 40 hour volunteer training more than a year ago, and although they began the training together, they have chosen to volunteer in different programs. Donald is a hospital advocate, on call for two to four shifts a month, and Lacey gives eight hours a month to grants research.

Becoming a hospital advocate sounded like an opportunity to bring positivity to someone’s life during a difficult time, and fit well with his professional goals—Donald, who wanted to work toward a helping career, is pursuing of a Master of Science in Nursing to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

But direct client care is not for everyone, and didn’t feel right for Lacey.

After meeting with Langa, our volunteer manager to talk through her options, and the different needs of the agency, Lacey realized researching grant opportunities would be a great use of her skills. She had found the way that she could help while also taking care of herself.

“If anyone is unsure, or just feeling on the fence about volunteering, there are a lot of different ways you can help,” Lacey says, and “There is a lot of support for volunteers here.”

The couple continue to find ways to give!  Donald and Lacey got married in March. Because their volunteer work at SafePlace has become such a big part of their lives, they wanted to find a way to include SafePlace in their wedding, and asked family and friends to donate to SafePlace in lieu of giving gifts.

March 2014
Photo Credit: Prima Luce Studios

Congratulations, Donald and Lacey! And thank you for all you have done and continue to do for SafePlace! We hope your story helps someone who wasn’t sure about volunteering.

[If you’d like to share you experience as a SafePlace volunteer with us, please contact Communications Assistant Katey Gorski at]

Information about volunteering


Inside Angelina Jolie’s campaign for justice for the survivors of Bosnia’s mass rapes

Edina, a Bosnian who lives near Srebrenica, was only 15 when she was captured along with a relative as they were foraging for food. Her family had fled to a forest. She was held for weeks and raped by five men. She says she survived because as it was happening, “I felt like I was someone else watching what was happening to me.”

In the two decades since those events, Edina has tried to rebuild her life. Today, she is a mother, but she has the air of a broken woman. She sits on a bench in the Srebrenica Memorial and chats with visitors—including Angelina Jolie—with dulled emotions. Although Edina testified in The Hague in 2005, none of the men who raped her have been brought to justice. She says that her rapists walk free—and are living not far from where she now lives.

"I know who they are," she tells Newsweek. "I found them on the Internet on Facebook."

Jolie, the actress and director, has returned to Bosnia with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to promote their partnership directed at preventing sexual violence in conflict. Rape during wartime is often treated as a lesser war crime, and their initiative is an attempt to galvanize political will to uphold international standards of justice.