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To facilitate healing for victims of sexual assault and their families through on-going crisis intervention services; to promote community awareness of the Center's services; to educate our students and community about the nature of sexual assault; and, to foster strong partnerships with all agencies involved in dealing with sexual assault.
In 1992, a task force called Rome Rape Response was formed to meet a recognized community need for services for survivors of sexual assault. The task force recruited and trained a group of volunteers to assist in answering a twenty-four hour crisis line operated by The Hospitality House, a center for battered women. However, without any funding for a full-time coordinator it was very challenging to schedule and supervise volunteers. After one year the efforts of this group diminished to only a few volunteers who continued to respond to crisis calls to the best of their abilities.
In 1995, a The Women's Information Network, a six-year old local non-profit organization dedicated to providing healthcare information for women, wrote a grant to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and received funding in August of 1996. This money allowed for the re-establishment of sexual assault services with a part-time director, under the new name Rape Response of Rome (RRR). In February of 1997, RRR received additional grant funding from the Department of Human Resources, providing for a full-time director to coordinate the program.
In 1998, the agency separated from The Women's Information Network to become an independent, non-profit agency, and changed its name to The Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia. This name better reflected the surrounding counties that SAC NW GA served, including Polk, Floyd, Gordon and Chattooga counties.
The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program was also started in 1998, with two nurses attending the week long state training in forensic evidence collection, clinical issues relating to sexual assault and the criminal justice system. Both of these nurses are still with us today and one is nationally certified by the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
In 1999, the SAC became the third rape crisis center in the state of Georgia to offer on-site forensic medical examinations. This service provides an alternative to the emergency room as a site for the exam.
In 2006, the center moved from its previous office space to a new house. This new and larger space has allowed the center to provide more programs and services as well as a more comfortable environment for survivors of sexual assault.
Since then, SAC has maintained each of it's funding sources and has a very active community Board of Directors. SAC also relies heavily on volunteers to assist in answering crisis hotline calls, accompaniment cases, fundraising events, and community outreach. The future work of The Sexual Assault Center of NW GA will continue to be providing supportive services for survivors of sexual assault.Our Guiding Principles
The Sexual Assault Center is committed to
- Serving all survivors and those supportive of them at any time regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, ability, religion, or geography.
- Creating a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment for survivors and their families.
- Providing timely access to services and programs.
- Working to end the silence surrounding sexual violence.
- Educating our community to the realities of sexual violence and it's impact on the entire community.
- Foster strong partnerships with law enforcement, hospital staff, and criminal justice agencies.
- Ashley Kingsolver
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