A Donald Trump rally on Wednesday afternoon in Long Island forced a counseling center for victims of rape and domestic abuse to abruptly shut its doors for the better part of a day. The Safe Center LI found out late Tuesday that the roads around their building would be closed. They were forced to cancel around 30 appointments for adults and children.
The Trump rally was held in Bethpage, New York; around 15,000 people reportedly attended. “I have no idea when this was planned,” Cindy Scott told Jezebel. She’s the co-executive director for Safe Center LI, and said it became clear on Tuesday that they were going to be forced to suspend their services to make way for Trump.
“They would let people down the road who worked for the businesses,” she says, referring to police, “But they weren’t feeling they could guarantee that we could get our clients down the road.” The Safe Center provides counseling, housing services and emergency crisis intervention for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, both children and adults.
The center did what they could in the limited time they were given, posting a message on Facebook, blasting out a message through Constant Contact, and reaching their scheduled clients by phone.
That said, Scott adds, “We get walk in people as well who are coming in in crisis. We wanted to ensure that they knew not to take the time. People are coming from various parts of our county and taking public transportation.”
Scott stressed that she wasn’t criticizing the police for their handling of the crowds.
“It is what it is,” she says. “We had no control over it, obviously. The police did the best they could. They were helpful on giving us a perspective on what to expect. We didn’t have a lot of time to figure out another way of doing things, unfortunately, so it left us in the position of having no choice but not to be able to provide services. Some of our clients were upset.”
The Safe Center was able to reopen normally Thursday morning. Three protesters were arrested at the rally, at which Trump shared his plans once again to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (“Build the wall!” the crowd reportedly roared in response). Trump also opined that the press is “so bad.”
Trump ralliers, April 6, 2016, Bethpage NY. Photo via AP