PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans who are victims of sexual assault or domestic violence overseas now have one organization to serve their varied and complex needs: Pathways to Safety International. The singular organization combines Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center (AODVC) and Sexual Assault Support & Help for Americans Abroad (SASHAA) which have served thousands of Americans studying, volunteering, working or vacationing abroad, with vital, confidential services.
Pathways to Safety International assists victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual harassment and forced marriage via its 24/7/365, international toll-free hotline, 833-SAFE-833, and by email or live online chat. The organization has served thousands of American victims in more than 110 countries to date.
Paula Lucas, Founder and Executive Director of the Portland- based group, said, "The new name and logo signify the unique international pathways survivors must navigate to reach safety. Our dedicated team of case managers works around the clock – and often weeks and months after first contact - to empower victims on their individual paths to safety."
A recent client, Sarah, said, "I was sexually assaulted while studying abroad in Spain. I hardly spoke the language and didn't know how to proceed. Pathways to Safety International was the light, the path, the help, the belief, the calm voice and truly the place of safety so far away."
Funding discontinuation threatens crucial services
Pathways to Safety International pays for a range of special services for victims that include language translation, medical care, rape kits/evidence collection, hotel stays, emergency cash assistance, transportation, legal support and counseling.
Recently, the federal government continued to fund AODVC, however the $800,000 expected to serve American sexual assault victims abroad for SASHAA was discontinued. The surprise termination of support for sexual assault victims threatens the continuation of services. A Global Safety App for mobile devices, planned for launch earlier this year, has been put on hold.
Lucas said, "We are devastated by the discontinuation of funding and are ourselves in crisis mode to keep sexual assault services going."
For more information about Pathways to Safety International, visit: www.pathwaystosafety.org or follow us on Twitter (@pathways2safety), Instagram @pathways_to_safety and Facebook.
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SOURCE Pathways to Safety International