WC SAFE provides those affected by sexual assault with immediate and ongoing comprehensive services, at no cost, that encourage survivor healing and empowerment, promote public awareness and leads social change.
WC SAFE is a non-profit, 501(c)3, comprehensive organization that provides compassionate and trauma-informed care to survivors of sexual assault throughout Wayne County.
WC SAFE provides a safe, quiet, confidential environment with specially trained Forensic Examiners in order to provide medical examinations and forensic evidence collection for rape victims.
We are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our services are free of charge. Services are available to ALL ages – men, women, and children. Medical-forensic exams are provided up to 120 hours post assault. Counseling and advocacy services are available to anyone who identifies as a survivor of sexual assault, sexual abuse or incest ~ no matter when it occurred. Our services are available to anyone, despite where they live or where they were assaulted.
The on-call Forensic Examiner and Advocacy staff will respond within 10 minutes to a crisis page and will arrange to meet patients at the clinic site of their choice, within 1 hour of initial contact. We can arrange for appointments as well if that works better for the patient. We can also provide assistance with transportation to enable the patient to obtain services safely.
In addition to the medical-forensic examinations, we provide:
Crisis intervention and support
Expert witness testimony
Community education and awareness on issues around sexual assault and the services available to survivors
Since opening in January of 2006, we have provided medical-forensic services to thousands of sexual assault survivors, and those numbers continue to grow annually.
WC SAFE is largest and busiest program of its kind in Michigan and the only program in southeast Michigan to provide comprehensive services focused solely on sexual assault. In 2010, we implemented a parallel track of community-based, empowerment-focused advocacy services with specially trained staff that provide crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy and supportive services.
Our Forensic Examiner staff has helped in taking hundreds of perpetrators off the streets through their expert witness testimony and therefore helping to make the community a safer place to live and work.
WC SAFE is a leader, and an integral partner, in many endeavors at the local, state and national levels with regards to improving the overall standard of care provided, and response to, victims of sexual assault. It is our goal to ensure that all sexual assault survivors in our community have access to health care, emotional support & counseling and are provided choices in how they receive these important steps to the path of healing.
At the local level, WC SAFE staff serves as the Coordinator for our community’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) – the Wayne County Sexual Assault Collaborative (WC SAC). WC SAC is a multi-disciplinary collaborative that includes law enforcement, prosecutors, health care, SAFE and other service agencies that deal with victims of sexual assault in order to improve the overall response and continuum of care for victims. WC SAC is victim-centered and offender-focused and is the best practice standard for a multidisciplinary approach to sexual assault.
WC SAFE has been heavily involved in the un-submitted kit issue here in Detroit, as the primary victim-service provider entrenched in providing supportive services and ongoing support to those victims whose rape kits went untested for so many years. We are working hard to implement real solutions, including a tracking system for the rape kits and victim notification protocols that are survivor-centered and trauma-informed. We are working hard to educate the community on these issues while continuing to provide outstanding care at every level.
In addition, WC SAFE has been incorporated into the ‘Wayne County Prosecutor’s Protocol on Response to Sexual Assault’ for both children and adults, to law enforcement and health care as the preferred and recommended standard of care in providing medical-forensic examinations to sexual assault survivors in Wayne County.
At the state level, WC SAFE serves on several different task forces and has been involved in think tanks that are working to change the way the entire state views issues surrounding sexual assault. Including legislation around the handling of rape kits, funding for sexual assault services, law enforcement response to sexual assault and victim rights. Staff plays an integral role in educating other communities on best practice standards around both medical and advocacy services.
We are so proud to be making changes that will affect not only our community but also the entire state.
At the national level, WC SAFE has been working to educate the rest of the country on our community’s experience around the un-submitted kit issue, and the lessons learned from our involvement in the National Institute of Justice Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project.