I want to be direct and completely transparent with you—the lives of women and other victims of sexual assault are in your hands.
Thanks to you and other compassionate, generous supporters, victims now have a safe and confidential place to turn, whether or not they choose to report the crime to law enforcement. With your help, the Women’s Center of Jacksonville opened the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver S.A.F.E. Center last year.
The S.A.F.E. (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam) Center plays a critical role in the treatment and recovery of crime victims in Duval, Nassau and Baker counties. Providing victims of sexual assault with respect, dignity and compassion, the highly specialized and trained staff conducts forensic exams and evidence collection, along with crisis intervention, counseling and emotional support for survivors and their loved ones.
There is no “typical” survivor. They live in all areas of our community. They’re young—sometimes very young. They’re elders. They represent all races and ethnicities. They’re women. And men. As a matter of fact, more than eight percent of rapes and sexual assaults in Florida involve a male victim. And the S.A.F.E. Center supports and works with them all.
A survivor we worked with this past year—a woman in her early 70’s—sent us a letter to say that she will be “forever thankful to the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and your S.A.F.E. Center for your assistance in my recovery. You more than succeeded in your mission to rehabilitate and encourage victims of violent crime, helping us become strong and confident survivors. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Thanks to a significant lead gift from the Weavers and other major gifts from donors with a passion for our work, we were able to open the S.A.F.E. Center last year. But a significant amount of funds still needs to be raised to complete the capital campaign that allowed us to purchase and renovate the building.
As a way to encourage your support, a long-time donor has offered to match the first $25,000 raised in response to this year-end appeal. Frankly, we hope to raise much more and I am asking you to be as generous as possible.
One in six women experience rape at some point during their lives. And almost 42% of women will have been victimized by sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime.
These are your mothers. Grandmothers. Sisters. Daughters. They’re the people you work with and friends you know and love. When you support the S.A.F.E. Center, you are assuring that every person who walks through the door will be met with compassion and treated and supported in a way you would want each of your loved ones to be cared for.
Without you, there wouldn’t be the hope, resources or opportunities to help victims become survivors. Please help them and make a generous donation today.
On behalf of everyone at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, I wish you all the joy the season can bring.
P.S. Your gift to support the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver S.A.F.E. Center will literally change— and save—the lives of the people we serve.