Austin volunteer’s 40 years at SAFE, helping to end domestic violence

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Frankie Fowler has volunteered with SAFE for 40 years. She started as a volunteer on the hotline for the Center for Battered Women and now does outreach to community groups about safe relationships. "I didn't start volunteering at SAFE so they would name awards for me or give me plaques," she says. "... when you give, you receive more and then you give more."

Long before there was SAFE, there were SafePlace women’s shelter and Austin Children’s Shelter. Before that there was the Center for Battered Women, the Austin Rape Crisis Center and the Austin-Travis County Shelter for Infants and Children.

With all the mergers and name changes for this Austin nonprofit organization, the only constants have been its commitment to ending the cycle of abuse and Frankie Fowler. 

This spring Fowler, 75, celebrated 40 years of volunteering with SAFE, which stands for Stop Abuse for Everyone. 

“Frankie feels like that touchpoint,” says Christine Langa, the volunteer services director at SAFE. She’s outlasted other volunteers and the staff. “She precedes all of us.” 

Fowler, Langa says, “has this loyalty and commitment that informs her work and dedication.”