Tuesday, February 23, 2010

History of SACC: the need for services

In honor of our 25th Year Anniversary, we will be posting chapters of the history of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center thus far. We have come a long way since our inception in 1984 and we are excited to be a part of the change that the next 25+ years will bring. Perhaps we will see the end of sexual violence in our community. One can only hope and work.

Chapter 1: The Need for Services

In 1984, the local child abuse and neglect council (Androscoggin County Coordinating Committee, now known as Advocates for children) sponsored a Sexual Abuse Task Force to study the services available to victims of rape and sexual abuse. While rape crisis services had been available at Central Maine Medical Center, there seemed to be a need for more comprehensive services. There was also an identified need for services for families whose children had been abused by someone outside of their families. These families did not come under the auspices of the Department of Human Services, and therefore did not have easy access to services which could help them cope with the effects of the abuse. The idea was born to create a community based organization which could address both of these needs.

In May of 1984, a group of dedicated community persons founded a Board of Directors for the Sexual Assault Crisis Center. Funding was secured through the Bureau of Social Services (DHS) and a Coordinator of Volunteers was hired. Training for hotline Advocates began immediately, with SACC hotline services available December 1, 1984.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Services: SART

When making the decision to report a crime of sexual abuse or sexual assault, the victim may experience a number of feelings, scared, confused, angry, hurt, or even relief to name a few.

SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Coordinator focuses on allowing the victim of sexual assault to have a consistent person involved with support and understanding throughout the criminal justice process. As the case moves through the legal system from reporting to going to court the victim could meet a number of different people. The SART Coordinator allows the victim the piece of mind in knowing that someone he or she has already met, will be there along the way could help ease some of the feelings that may be experienced.

The SART Coordinator has worked together with health care providers that have been trained to be SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners), law enforcement, prosecuting attorney’s, and probation officers. These players formed the Project Response Team in order create an approach that would better meet the needs of survivors when they may be having such feelings.

The SART Coordinator would be available to:

  • Provide support and accompaniment for survivors during police interviews or other procedure involving law enforcement.

  • Accompany and support survivors and support person/s during interaction with the District Attorney’s Office.

  • Provide follow up assistance and support as needed.

  • Keep survivors up to date on the progress of the investigation.

  • Provide survivors and family members with accurate information about the criminal justice system.

  • Make referrals to community resources.

  • Help survivors file for victim compensation if appropriate

The legal process could take a long time! Survivors could be waiting up to a year after reporting the crime to the police until trial or a plea agreement is reached. The SART Coordinator and/or the SACC 24-hour hotline (1 800 871 7741 (Maine Statewide)) can be with you through all of this! You don’t have to go through this alone!!!!


Auburn Police Department: http://www.auburnmaine.org/

Lewiston Police Department: http://www.lewistonpd.org/

Mechanic Falls Police Department: http://mechanicfalls.govoffice.com/

Lisbon Police Department: http://www.lisbonpd.com/

Sabattus Police Department: http://www.sabattus.org/

Livermore Falls Police Department: http://www.police.lfme.org/

Maine State Police: http://www.state.me.us/

Androscoggin Sheriff Department: http://www.usacops.com/me/s04210/index.html

Sex Offender Registry: http://sor.informe.org/sor/

Victim’s Compensation: http://www.maine.gov/ag/crime/victims_compensation/index.shtml

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Impact of Macho

I was recently talking with some folks about the services that SACC provides. This was an excellent conversation and I enjoyed it and meeting the new contacts quite a bit. A one point I was asked about statistics for sexual assault. The commenter was shocked at the 1 in 3 are/will be victims of sexual assault. "1 in 3 girls will be assaulted. This is scary."

"Actually, that is 1 in 3 people. Include boys in that stat."

"What? That many boys? Really?"


The Culture of Macho that we are currently undergoing (and have been going through for a LOOOONNGGG time) is creating a horrible silence in men.

I was watching The Quick and The Dead with some youths yesterday and I asked the kids think about the types of gender stereotypes that were being presented in the story. With the appearance of the character Cort, I asked what kind of man he was. One young man answered, "Well, he won't fight back, so he must be a pussy."

This sentiment is echoed in the recent barrage of commercials during that Super Bowl that portrayed the Uber-Tough-Man (who will suck it up only because his woman will cry if he doesn't). This image is killing us.

Men, speaking out about sexual violence does not mean you are weak. Speaking out about your experiences and trauma doesn't make you less. Speaking out means that you are helping put a stop to the culture of rape that is condoned within the uber-tough-man persona. Speaking out means little children could potential grow up with the ability to express a full range of emotions rather than limiting themselves to fearful stereotypes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well, this is the Sexual Assault Crisis Center's first official blog. Hopefully, with this tool SACC will be able to offer more than 140 bit comments on the issues that swirl around both the virtual and the real worlds. We also hope that through this blog we can provide more static information about the services SACC provides to victims, survivors and supportive parties of sexual assault as well as work toward CHANGING the violent culture at large.
Please stay tuned to our posts. We welcome your opinions, queries and comments, but this blog is not for crisis situations. Please direct all crisis "calls" (regarding sexual violence) to one of the following crisis "lines":