Wake Forest University Friends and Colleagues:
In light of recent staff transitions affecting the Safe Office, we wanted to offer some clarifications about current service availability and future plans for the office. On behalf of the University and the Division of Campus Life, please know that we remain committed to addressing sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment as concerns in our community.
We are aware of rumors regarding the future of the Safe Office, and are hoping to provide clear information about how we support and care for any student in need.
The Safe Office is not closing and survivors are able to access confidential, trauma-informed clinical services at the University Counseling Center (UCC). During business hours, the Safe Office Help Line (336-758-5285) will route to the UCC where callers in need of crisis support will be offered one of our clinician. Should a survivor not be willing or able to come for walk-in, please call the UCC to speak with a senior staff clinician to discuss concerns. After-hours callers will experience no change in crisis support or accompaniment as our professional sexual and relationship violence responders will continue to be available.
Since it’s inception seven years ago, the Safe Office has been clinically supervised by a senior member of the University Counseling Center, and over the last five years the Safe Office has also been under UCC administrative oversight. Dr. Palmieri has worked closely with Sarah Broadhurst and our leadership team to continue to support our students who have experienced sexual and relationship violence with as little disruption as possible, including arranging support to hearings, hospital exams, and other non-counseling supports. This also includes providing sexual and relationship violence prevention perspectives to select university meetings/working groups.
Since the promotion of Steph Trilling, we have been searching for two permanent Safe Office counselor/advocate professionals. We remain committed to designing these roles with attention to the need to recruit highly qualified licensed mental health professionals with trauma-focused expertise, while ensuring that they have the bandwidth to do this important and challenging work. We are grateful for our staff, campus partners, and off-campus providers who also ensure students are supported through the hearing, court, accommodation, and hospital processes.
Feedback regarding our counselor/advocate candidates will be sought during on-campus interviews; the date and time of community presentations will be made known publicly.
We thank you for your continued support and partnership in your advocacy for survivors on campus.
Dr. Daniel Paredes, Acting Director, University Counseling Center
Dr. Emily Palmieri, Staff Counselor, University Counseling Center
Dr. James Raper, Assistant Vice President, Health & Wellbeing