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.