The Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace have officially merged to become one agency, the organizations announced Tuesday.

ACS and SafePlace will now be referred to as The SAFE Alliance (Stop Abuse For Everyone). Both have provided services for those experiencing sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse and domestic violence. The services previously offered and facilitated by the groups will continue as programs of SAFE.

“Becoming SAFE has allowed us to expand preventative programs like Expect Respect which works with teens and youths on understanding and building healthy relationships. It’s helped us improve our Strong Start program by increasing staff’s understanding of the interconnectedness domestic violence and child abuse, and increased their ability to respond most effectively,” said SAFE President Julia Spann.

SAFE will offer housing, healing and support services at the campuses of the Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace. SAFE staff are also at various locations that include Planet SAFE, the district attorney’s office, hospitals, Austin ISD and Manor ISD.

GO HERE for more information about SAFE.