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GaDuGi SafeCenter, Inc.

April 2015

What is the mission of the GaDuGi Safe Center?
The GaDuGi SafeCenter provides 24-hour comprehensive victim-centered services for people of all ages and genders affected by sexual violence for Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties.

How does the agency work to carry out its mission?
The GaDuGi SafeCenter engages in creative collaboration with community partners to develop and implement prevention education and community awareness.

How did the GaDuGi Safe Center begin?
GaDuGi SafeCenter began on the KU campus in 1972 as the Rape Victim Support Service (RVSS). Concerned KU students recognized the need for supportive services for victims/survivors of sexual violence. Run solely by KU volunteers, RVSS was the first stand-alone rape crisis center in Kansas. As RVSS expanded and awareness about sexual assault evolved, the group moved off campus and added paid staff members.

Where did the GaDuGi name come from?
In 2004, RVSS adopted the name GaDuGi SafeCenter to reflect the inclusion of all individuals who have suffered from sexual violence, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. “GaDuGi” is derived from Cherokee language that translates as “working together as a community toward a common goal.”

What kind of training does the GaDuGI Safe Center provide for advocates?
GaDuGi has twelve volunteer advocates trained to provide frontline support to any victim/survivor. According to Gadd-Nelson, the majority of those volunteers are from KU. "Our volunteer advocates go through an extensive 40-hour training that covers in-depth education on the complexity of sexual violence as well as skills necessary for advocacy and counseling with survivors,”

Describe collaborative KU partnerships important to the GaDuGi Safe Center.
Today GaDuGi continues that work alongside members of the KU community. Gadd-Nelson, in collaboration with faculty members, gave over thirty presentations across the KU campus during the Fall 2014 semester alone. GaDuGi staff also work with campus entities—the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, and SURGE (Students United for Reproductive and Gender Equity)—to provide a space for students to discuss and process current events and social justice issues.

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