With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Shelter Agencies for Families in East Texas, or SAFE-T, is spreading the word of their good work.
“Our mission is to create an environment where violence and abuse are not tolerated in the communities we serve,” SAFE-T supervisor Mary Ferguson told Enola Gay Thursday on KSST’S Morning Show. “Abuse diminishes the full expression of life, which is every person’s right. Also, our goal is to reduce the trauma of the crime committed against victims through our many services.”
SAFE-T is spread across eight different counties, which include Titus, Camp, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, and Red River counties. They have outreach centers in Sulphur Springs, Paris, and Clarkesville with their main office and shelters residing Mount Pleasant.
“We do crime victims assistance, rape-crisis intervention; we also accompany our clients to court and we also help them get legal assistance,” Ferguson said. “We also have a wonderful housing assistance program here in Sulphur Springs too.”
SAFE-T has many educational programs that they are involved in. They also provide Professional Training to organizations and a Child Advocacy Program. Their Volunteer Program has Crisis Response Teams that are trained to go out on sexual assault and domestic violence calls at hospitals and law-enforcement offices. Most of these services are provided here in Sulphur Springs.
“Here in Sulphur Springs we have a 24 hour crisis hotline,” Ferguson said. “If you call our number you will get somebody 24 hours a day. We have counseling and support groups for our clients.”
SAFE-T not only handles abuse and violence. Their volunteers and workers are qualified in matters of divorce as well.
“When divorce happens, or even before divorce, if there is abuse then one of the persons that is involved has to be supervised when visiting the children,” Fergusen said. “Usually CPS is involved in those cases.”
SAFE-T is having a Candlelight Vigil on October 9 at 5:30pm on Celebration Plaza for the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. If raining, the event will be moved to the ROC.