24-hour Crisis Hotline:
If you have been a victim of sexual assault and are seeking help, please call today. Locally you can call: 269.245.3925
- Calhoun County has a history of many years of volunteer services for sexual assault survivors, but also experienced lack of program consistency and sufficient funding to sustain services.
- After a period of two years without any organized services, The Sexual Assault/Abuse Coordinating Council was formed and a grant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation was obtained to identify needs and formalize services to sexual assault survivors.
- Consultants to the project recommended that Sexual Assault Services (SAS) partner with another non-profit rather than create a new one.
- Battle Creek Health System (BCHS) agreed to be the fiduciary agent, and SAS was created as a department of BCHS, with all staff becoming hospital employees. BCHS provided office space for the new program.
- The first Program Coordinator for Sexual Assault Services was hired in October of 1996.
- The new coordinator immediately provided training for volunteer victim advocates, initiated a 24-hour response and crisis hotline, counseling to survivors and community education presentations. Sexual Assault Services received increasing referrals from police, medical providers and other human service agencies resulting in requests and grants for increased funding to add more staff.
- In 1997, SAS added a half-time counselor, a half-time community educator and a half-time SANE Coordinator.
- In March 1998, SAS began providing 24-hour SANE services, with donated space examination rooms at BCHS, Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall and Trillium Hospital in Albion.
- In November 2002, the first Child Advocacy Center Coordinator was hired to facilitate continued development of the Child Advocacy Center program.
- Over 1,000 children and their families have received CAC services since 2000.
- In May 2005, SAS offices moved to newly renovated space on Manchester St., Fieldstone Building.
- The CAC received accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance in fall 2005. Since 1996, SAS has grown from an agency with one staff person and an annual budget of ~$90,000, to one with a staff of 7.5 FTE’s, an annual budget of over $450,000, and assistance from over 50 community volunteers.