While doing her work as Chief Probation Officer of Fayette County, SAFE founder Doris Benefiel saw a need for support services for victims of sexual assault and their families. After exploring the possibilities, a core group of eight women from various organizations and professions visited the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) Office in Springfield. SAFE was incorporated in January 1986 as a nonprofit focusing on sexual crisis intervention in Fayette County. Since its birth, SAFE has expanded from a small office in Fayette County to four offices covering eleven counties in South-Central Illinois.
After an assault, it is common for friends and family of the survivor to need support as well. We offer counseling services to any support person, regardless of whether or not the survivor themselves is receiving SAFE services.