Project Safe is a nonprofit organization working to end domestic violence in Athens, Ga. and surrounding areas through various supportive services, system change advocacy, prevention and education.
Founded in the late 1970s, Project Safe began as a volunteer enterprise with individuals setting up hotlines in their homes with some even opening up their homes as shelters. Today, Project Safe has expanded to having their own emergency and confidential domestic violence shelter, 24/7 hotline and teen textline, housing assistance, a thrift store, legal advocacy and financial assistance available.
Project Safe is able to keep costs low and continue to provide assistance by utilizing volunteers, student interns and seeking donations of goods and services along with monetary ones. Each month they post on their social media a list of much needed items that range from toilet paper to phone cards, depending on what survivors need the most.
They are excited to be reintroducing their annual events, some of which they haven’t done since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re very excited to be hosting our ‘Groovy Nights’ event in the next few months,” said Aysha Joyner, a Youth Educator and Advocate for Project Safe. “On Sept. 24th, we will be hosting our ‘Groovy Night,’ a lip-sync battle performed by local community leaders! We have seven teams signed up to compete and are really looking forward to getting the community together to have fun, while also bringing awareness to domestic violence.”
Along with the many supportive services available, Project Safe focuses on domestic violence prevention and education as well.
“Our emergency services focus primarily on getting victims out of abusive situations, and aiding during that transition period that can be extremely difficult for some,” said Joyner. “The program I oversee is Breaking Silence, which is focused on domestic violence prevention. I go to schools in our service area and do presentations focused on healthy and unhealthy relationships, boundary setting and what those things look like. We go to schools and discuss with students as young as fourth grade and as old as college students.”
Project Safe will be hosting their Jessica Nowell Memorial Stomp Out Domestic Violence Step Show again this December which hosts step teams from schools all across their areas of service who compete and win prizes based on who raises the most money, all of which gets donated back to Project Safe and their programs.
If you, or anyone you know is struggling with domestic violence please reach out to the Project Safe hotline: (706)-543-331 or teen textline: (706)-765-8019.