SafeHouse Center
24/7 HelpLine: 734-995-5444
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Linea de Apoyo de 24 horas: 734-995-5444
Si esta en grave peligro, llame a 911.
SafeHouse Center SPEAKS OUT
Giving a voice to our survivors and advocates.

My Response to Recent Events of Racial Injustice

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

By Barbara Niess-May, SafeHouse Center Executive Director

Dear SafeHouse Center Supporters,

I am writing to those of you who support SafeHouse Center – our valued volunteers, donors, board members, and community partners.

In the spirit of what SafeHouse Center stands for, I condemn the acts of violence and racial injustice that are being perpetrated against people of color in communities across the country.  The known and unknown acts are rooted in racism and we as a community must work together to do better. 

I often struggle with what to say when injustice happens.  Most often, it’s because I can’t believe that we live in a modern society that continues to condone and cover racism.  However, I can believe one fact on why this continues to happen over and over again.  Despite the fact that we live in a multicultural society, everyone is taught at a very young age about difference based on skin color.  Our media and societal messages perpetuate the lie that people of color are less than white people.  That is not true.  Yet, as a society, we make it our belief.  And, we do not attempt practices to unlearn these beliefs and thus unlearn the behavior.  White people benefit from racism.  And white people, I strongly encourage your reading the book “White Fragility.”

SafeHouse Center is not indifferent to racism.  Beyond the societal impact, we believe that it further entraps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.  We have had, and will probably forever continue to have our struggle with equity and justice in our organization.  But I promise we won’t stop working toward equity and justice.  I won’t forget George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, the list goes on to also include those who were targeted because of their race like Chris Cooper.   I see what happens.  I see you.

We acknowledge our law enforcement partners who stand with us every day in supporting survivors.  I can’t possibly imagine how this national issue is impacting all of them.  We need them, they need us, and together we can bring safety and justice for survivors.  I have heard them say many times, like us, there is a lot of work to be done. Just this morning our board member and Sheriff Jerry Clayton stated today:

We hear you and we stand with you.

For those wondering what this picture represents (National Black Out Day), it is one small statement of solidarity. To hear what so many are saying. To take time to listen, to reflect, to support, to work towards progress.

In closing, I am grateful for the support you provide on behalf of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.  It is meaningful in so many ways.  We are all in this….together.



Barbara Niess-May, MPA, MSW

Executive Director


SafeHouse Center