TUSCALOOSA’S SAFE CENTER MAKES STRIDES IN PROVIDING SEXUAL ASSAULT CARE PREVENTION RESOURCES

Tuscaloosa Safe Center

By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Grace Townsend

Sexual assault affects far too many people throughout the country, West Alabama included. But there are several places assault survivors can go for help.

Tuscaloosa’s SAFE Center is one of those places, and just about anyone in need can get help after an attack.

The center serves nine West Alabama counties, and anyone coming in for assistance can expect professionals helping them with open arms, said Tuscaloosa SAFE Center Executive Director Pam Jones.

“We’re here for anyone who is 14 or older who has been a victim of sexual assault,” Jones said. “If they come here, they’re going to get compassionate care and we can help them start that road to recovery.”

The clinic is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, meaning survivors can get help any time. They provide access to rape kits, law enforcement, counseling and other services for assault survivors.

“It’s a more common thing that we’re seeing or is coming to light that we see abuse or sexual assault,” said Alex Wenclewicz, a junior at The University of Alabama. “It’s an uncomfortable situation to talk about but you have to and having a safe center like this can put it more in the spotlight.”

Another mission of the SAFE Center is bringing more attention to sexual assault and reminding people that anyone can become a victim. Places like the SAFE Center help ensure victims get the support they need and give them the confidence to come forward.

“Sexual assault is something people don’t ever really want to talk about because you don’t think it will ever happen to you,” said Jones. “Hopefully it won’t but when it does happen, you need to know the options that are available to you, and we can go over those options with the patients.”

The SAFE Center is located at the Emergi-Care Family Medical Clinic, 1601 University Blvd. E.

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