SafeHouse Center

Sexual Assault Emergency Response Services

The Response Team

Established in 1987, The Response Team (RT) at SafeHouse Center provides 24 hour a day, 365 days a year immediate response to survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

All Washtenaw County law enforcement agencies contact RT after receiving a report of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. Local area hospitals also contact RT when a patient discloses that they have experienced domestic violence and/or a sexual assault. SafeHouse staff or volunteers then make contact with the survivor either in person or by phone to offer support and information and to help plan for their safety.

The RT contact is often the first time that a survivor learns of SafeHouse, our services and of the resources that are available to help and support them. This is also often the first time that the survivor may have been able to talk with someone about their situation without being blamed for the abuse and/or assault or judged for staying with their partner.

As RT advocates we provide emotional support, validation, information, advocacy, resources and safety strategies. Our goal is to ensure that survivors have the ability to make informed decisions and to streamline service provisions within our community.

A strength of this program is that we reach out to the survivor, however, as all of our services are provided from an empowerment perspective, survivors are able to choose whether to participate with any or all of the services provided by the RT team.

All services provided by RT members are free and completely confidential. A copy of our confidentiality policy is available upon request.

All members of RT are fully trained and supervised. On weekdays during business hours, SafeHouse staff will respond to the pages received from the police or hospital. Volunteers cover all evening and weekend shifts. The Response Teams Coordinator is always available to RT and community members to answer questions and consult on particular cases.