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 Spring 2024 Newsletter

An Update from our Executive Director

Dear Friend,

Did you know that every 68 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted? Did you know that every 9 minutes, that victim is a child?

Did you also know that according to RAINN, sexual violence is notoriously difficult to measure, and there is no single source of data that provides a complete picture of the crime?

This is partly because sexual assault continues to be one of the most underreported crimes in our country. According to NSVRC 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police and only 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to the authorities.

I hope these numbers stir emotion and perhaps action in you, because they certainly do for me! I know that sexual assaults happen here, in our community every single day. I have met survivors knowingly and unknowingly, and so have you!

In 2016, Washtenaw County Law Enforcement Agencies in collaboration with SafeHouse launched a local commitment to the international campaign of “Start by Believing”. This year, the campaign is being revitalized and we appreciate the re-commitment and the opportunity to spotlight the importance of how we respond when someone discloses having been sexually assaulted.

“Start by Believing”. It seems like such a simple concept and easily done. When someone shares an experience, a moment in their life, a story of an event, we typically listen with intent and support. So why is it different when someone shares a sexual assault? Why are so many survivors disbelieved, questioned, blamed and shunned for something they were not in control of?

At SafeHouse Center, we have been proud to support survivors of sexual assault since 2003 through a variety of programs: crisis support, support groups, legal advocacy and emergency shelter. We have been proud to create a safe and welcoming space for survivors to be believed and to belong. We have been proud to uplift and strengthen the voices of survivors as they seek recognition and justice in our community and from our community.

Christine Watson

Crisis Support and Advocacy Services Program

At SafeHouse Center, our commitment to supporting survivors of domestic violence remains unwavering. As we transition into spring, we’re excited to share some recent developments in our efforts to provide essential services to those in need.

Expanding Individual Crisis Support

Recent updates to our crisis support rooms have allowed us to enhance our in-person individual crisis support services.

Since January 2024, we’ve provided support to 81 domestic violence survivors through individual crisis support and support groups, reaffirming our commitment to accessible care.

As we look ahead to spring, we’re focused on expanding our in-person support group offerings to better meet the evolving needs of our community.

Your ongoing support is invaluable as we continue our mission to create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors of domestic violence.

Support Group Highlights

The Huron Valley Women’s Prison group has launched its first cycle of the year, marking an important step in our outreach efforts. We’re excited to welcome our new volunteer to the group, bringing her dedication and expertise to our cause.

Our Spanish and Domestic Violence support groups continue to meet weekly, offering vital resources and a safe space for survivors. In February, our DV support group hosted a successful in-person Meet and Greet event, signaling a hopeful return to more in-person opportunities for support in the future

Housing Program

The SafeHouse Center Housing Program in collaboration with SOS Community Services is currently servicing 9 survivor families in our Rapid ReHousing (RRH)/Domestic Violence (DV) Implementation Program. In March, the 1st referral under our new grant for Transitional Supportive Housing (TSH) has been made in partnership with Avalon Housing.

Shelter Program

Our shelter program was recently successful in re-launching our shelter support group, providing drop-in educational sessions covering both Domestic Violence (DV) and Sexual Assault (SA) topics for shelter residents. This initiative offers survivors a safe space to learn and grow together.

In addition to the ongoing support group, our four-week “Why Does He Do That” Book Club is in full swing, fostering engaging discussions and insights into abusive behaviors.

On April 1st, we’re excited to host a transformative workshop titled “No Longer Silenced, Finding Your Voice.” This empowering session will equip survivors with tools and strategies to reclaim their voices and break free from the cycle of emotional suppression.

We held a cookie decorating and self-love event held on Saturday, March 16. It was a heartwarming success, where families came together to learn about self-love while enjoying delicious treats.

On Saturday, March 30rd, we held our Spring Egg Event where children participated in egg hunts and received baskets filled with goodies, spread joy and laughter throughout our shelter.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated interns and volunteers who tirelessly run our playroom, providing children with a nurturing and supportive environment. Special thanks to Faith W., Maria G., Noelle L., Indiya S., Mahari R., Paully V., Janelle R., Moriah M., Erin C., Eugene C., and Sahana L. for their invaluable contributions.

At SafeHouse Center, we remain committed to creating a supportive community where survivors can heal, grow, and thrive.

Between January 1st 2024 and March 13th 2024, SHC legal advocacy staff were assigned 108 new criminal cases. As legal advocates, they provide crucial support to survivors throughout the criminal justice process. This support includes explaining legal procedures, attending Domestic Violence dockets, assisting with victim impact statements, liaising with prosecutors, victim advocates, and probation officers, as well as offering follow-up assistance after hearings. They also aid in filing petitions for Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) and connect individuals with other county resources. In addition to these duties, legal advocates offer crisis support, lead support groups, and fulfill weekly Response Team shifts.

Our Civil Legal Advocate, assisted in filing 35 PPO petitions during the same period. Her responsibilities include guiding survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through the petition process, drafting statements, and filing paperwork with the court. The Civil Legal Advocate also manages service coordination for respondents, files proof of service, handles motions to show cause, terminates and modifies PPOs, and attends PPO hearings. The PPO office, located at the circuit court, welcomes walk-ins from Monday to Thursday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Additionally, she completed 32 Family Law Project (FLP) referrals, attending FLP meetings regularly for case updates.

Sexual Assault Services Program

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and the Sexual Assault Services team is busy with upcoming events to raise awareness around Sexual Assault.

On April 2nd, we partnered with EMU Intra Fraternal Council, Women’s Resource Center, Sexual Misconduct and Prevention and Response Office, and EMU Public Safety to host Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This event was to bring awareness and change to campus.

April 3rd was the “Start by Believing” day. On this day communities and individuals come together to end the silence and change the way they respond to sexual assault…. We Start by Believing!

Sexual assault survivors often face disbelief and blame when they disclose their abuse, decreasing the chance they’ll report to law enforcement or seek support. This is why End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) created Start by Believing (SBB), a public awareness and action campaign designed to transform personal and professional responses to victim disclosures, by expressing belief and support rather than doubt, shame, or blame.

SafeHouse is joining the University of Michigan DPSS to spread this information to Washtenaw County Law Enforcement agencies and organizations, and encouraging them to take the pledge.

To learn more about the Start by Believing campaign or to take the pledge go to this website.

April 3rd was also the evening of the annual University Students Against Rape March and Rally in the Union Ballroom at University of Michigan.

Survivors, supporters, and community members came together to raise their voices and raise awareness about sexual assault. After the rally, a march was held going through the streets of campus and the city of Ann Arbor.

We greatly appreciate all of the community events and efforts highlighting Sexual Assault. These events serve as a powerful message and reminder to survivors that support is available and that our community stands with them.

Helpline Program

The Helpline team remains steadfast in providing round-the-clock support to all callers. In addition to assisting residents and their children with essential needs, our dedicated staff and volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the 24-hour Helpline program. We are grateful to announce the recent completion of training for six new members, bringing our team to a total of 18 dedicated volunteers! If you or someone you know is interested in joining this incredible team, we invite you to register for the May 2024 training session.

Volunteer Program

April 21-27 is Volunteer Appreciation Week. The theme for National Volunteer Week is Celebrate Service – an opportunity to shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve.

Our volunteers are inspired daily to break barriers and to create social change for survivors. We are so grateful for the time, compassion, dedication, and commitment volunteers bring to SafeHouse Center’s mission and survivors. Volunteers make an impact every day and bring hope for change.

“I’ve learned that small gestures of compassion make a huge difference in my community.”
–SHC Volunteer

Thank you for volunteering with us!

If you would like to join our Volunteer Program, we are now accepting applications for direct service volunteers for our Spring 2024 Hybrid CORE Training:

Thursday, May 16, 6 pm-9 pm (Virtual)

Friday, May 17, 6 pm-9 pm (Virtual)

Saturday, May 18, 9 am-5 pm (In-Person)

Sunday, May 19, 9 am-5 pm (In-Person)

Applications are due May 1st and please click here for more information.

We had 28 interns, staff, and volunteers join us for our Winter 2024 CORE Training. Hear what some of them had to say about their training experience—

In the last quarter, we had 67 volunteers who provided 1868.82 hours of invaluable support.

In the last quarter, we provided 19 educational presentations and professional trainings to 298 adults and 56 children in our community.

Our Interns and volunteers continue to spread awareness by “teal-up” the town with community partners. We will hang teal ribbons with information about sexual assault awareness month in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, the WCC campus, the U of M campus, the EMU campus, and the Concordia campus.

Our Intern is working on a traveling display featuring our Denim Day and Clothesline project with Community Partners. Come check out the displays at Corner Health, Pittsfield Township Administration and Washtenaw Community College.

Speaker’s Bureau Program 

SafeHouse Center has a Speaker’s Bureau program, and we would love to be at your next event! SafeHouse Center can provide a free speaker or information table representative at your next event.

Contact Laura at or click here to learn more.

Green Flag Red Flag Event

SafeHouse Center Teen Voice and Neutral Zone are hosting a Green & Red Flag Teen Resource Fair on April 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Neutral Zone. Come hear from local agencies, participate in learning stations, and grab some food!

Date: April 20, 2024

Time: 3 – 5 PM

Location: Neutral Zone, 310 E. Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI

10th Annual Purple Run

The Purple Run is a 5K walk/run to raise awareness of domestic violence and stand up in support of survivors. All proceeds from the event go to Safehouse Center and allow us to fulfill our mission of providing free and confidential services to survivors of intimate-partner violence and sexual assault. We are so grateful to all in the community who have shown their support and we look forward to meeting you all at this year’s Purple Run!

Date: Saturday, October 19, 2024

Time: 9:00AM Race Start

Location: Duderstadt Center, 2281 Bonisteel, Ann Arbor MI 48109

We’re running domestic violence out of town.

Register >

We are currently seeking sponsors. For any questions about sponsorships, please email Rhonda Parker at


Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild Show

Join us at the GAAQG’s bi-annual show with all proceeds going to Safehouse Center. The show includes vendors, a gift shop, and a plethora of beautiful hand-made quilts on display. The public is invited to vote for their favorite quilts. “Viewers Choice” ribbons are announced at the end of the show and posted on the GAAQG website.

Date: July 27 – 28, 2024

Time: Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Location:  Morris Lawrence Building on the Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

More Information>

We are currently requesting the following items that are needed most by our survivors:

Gift-cards (Wal-mart, Meijer, Kroger), Storage Bins (varioous sizes), Laundry Pods, C-type Chargers, 2024 Planners/Journals.

Any items can be dropped off at Safehouse Center from Monday-Friday 9:00AM – 4:00PM or mailed to: 4100 Clark Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Full Wishlist >