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HISTORY

The roots of SAFE Project can be traced back to 1974. Nine female law students at the University of Wyoming (UW) saw a need to raise awareness about rape at UW and in Laramie. With UW approval, some of these women opened and staffed the Women's Awareness Movement Office (WAMO) on campus to provide educational materials to women. At the same time that the law students were raising awareness about rape, a community group of feminists were organizing around the issue of family violence. This group of men and women donated money and raised funds to set up a voucher system to pay for hotel rooms when women and children fled abusive situations. In 1977, these two groups came together and began using the name SAFE Project, for Sexual Assault Family violence Educational Project. The organization was incorporated as a non-profit agency in May of 1980, with Jane Warren as one of the initial incorporators.   

 

SAFE Project was fortunate to receive assistance from a number of other organizations in the early years and continues to collaborate with local, state and federal organizations today. SAFE’s initial office space was generously donated for two years by the Susan B. Anthony Center at UW. The University Common Ministry acted as an umbrella agency through June 1982 and SAFE received funding through them from the Tonkin Foundation in Casper and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Grants from the Wyoming legislature were crucial for hiring staff, establishing a 24-hour crisis line, training volunteer advocates and beginning education programs in Albany County. Church Women United, a group that had been educating the community on intimate partner violence, elected in 1982 to transfer their shelter fund to SAFE Project. This funding helped fund the purchase of SAFE’s first permanent shelter building in the late 1980s. In 1991, an office space was purchased on Steele Street. In 2010, community development block grants from the Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Community Development Authority, along with funding from the Guthrie Family Foundation and proceeds from the sale of the former shelter and office, were used for the purchase and renovations of new shelter property and the current office building at 319 South Lincoln Street.

PRESENT DAY

Today SAFE Project operates a 24-hour hotline and provides free and confidential services to clients and children, from answering hotline calls to responding to the hospital for sexual assaults to providing shelter to clients and children. SAFE employs an Executive Director, five full-time staff members in the office plus a full-time advocate on the University of Wyoming campus (new in 2016!), and seasonal interns. We are also fortunate to be able to count on an average of 25-30 volunteer advocates who have completed our mandatory 40-hour advocacy training in order to staff the hotline, intern in the office and provide other services. Additionally, our Board of Directors consists of nine to eleven volunteer members from throughout the community.

 

SAFE Project works closely with a number of local and state organizations and agencies to better assist clients and meet their needs. Since 2009, SAFE has coordinated the local Sexual Assault Response Team to better facilitate collaboration between health agencies, police officers, emergency responders, and the criminal justice system.

 

Throughout the year, SAFE Project’s outreach and prevention efforts include school and community presentations, informational/service brochures, advertisements and events. As part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October, SAFE holds a Silent Witness candlelight vigil to remember victims of domestic violence homicide in Albany County.

 

The national awareness months that are significant to SAFE Project and the colors associated with them:

  • October: Domestic Violence Awareness (purple)

  • January: Stalking Awareness (grey)

  • February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness (orange)

  • April: Sexual Assault Awareness (teal) and Child Abuse Prevention (blue)

FUNDING

SAFE Project is sponsored by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Division of Victim Services (DVS), and a large portion of the agency’s state and federal funding is received as their sub-grantee:

  • Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) federal funds

  • State Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault funds

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal funds

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Sexual Assault Services federal funds

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) STOP Grant Program, federal funds

Sources of other recent funding for SAFE Project that makes it possible to provide and expand services:

  • Albany County Community Agency funds

  • City of Laramie Community Partner funds

  • Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) federal funds

  • Donations from supporters

  • ECMC Foundation (WyoTech)

  • Guthrie Family Foundation

  • Local churches

  • Local community organizations

    • Rotary Club of Laramie

    • Soroptimist International of Laramie

    • Zonta Club of Laramie

  • Mary Kay Foundation Shelter Program award

  • Proceeds from fundraisers by community members and organizations

  • Proceeds from SAFE Project's annual Brunch & Bubbly event

  • Transitional Housing federal funds

  • United Way of Albany County

  • Verizon Wireless HopeLine Program award

  • Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (WCADVSA) grants

All of our services are free and confidential. We do not discriminate for access to services on the basis of real or perceived race/ethnicity, language, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, social class, economic status, education, marital status, religious affiliation, residency, HIV status, sexual preference, or national origin.

 

SAFE Project is sponsored by the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Victim Services

307-742-7273

319 South Lincoln St.
Laramie, WY 82070

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