Rape Crisis Centers
In 1971, Kentucky's first rape crisis center began serving victims of rape and sexual assault. Over the next eight years, three more centers opened operating on minimal federal and local funding support. Until 1986, these four centers were the only programs of their kind in Kentucky.
With the state general fund support from the 1986 General Assembly, the expansion of these specialized services became possible. Originally, the Department for Mental Health and Mental Retardation was given responsibility for funding and providing administrative oversight to rape crisis centers statewide. Administrative oversight responsibility was moved to Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) in 2008.
To ensure these specialized services are accessible across the commonwealth, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) funds 13 rape crisis centers each serving from five to 17 counties.
Rape crisis centers serve victims and their family members and friends in the counties in their respective regions. While each of the 13 centers may provide a specialized array of services based on the needs and opportunities of the area served, all centers provide the following services:
- 24-hour rape crisis line
- Crisis counseling to help survivors in express thoughts and feelings about his/her rape/sexual assault
- Crisis counseling and support to help family and friends of rape victims cope with the trauma
- Therapy services or referrals for more intensive or specialized therapy
- Support groups for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and incest
- Information regarding law enforcement, criminal justice and medical systems
- Advocacy for victims, including accompanying them to health facilities, police stations and court
- Primary prevention programming
- Referrals to appropriate community resources
- Help with victim compensation claims
The Clinical Services Branch resides within DCBS and provides funding for the rape crisis center network and administrative oversight for the state's rape and sexual assault policy development, programs and services.
For more information about Kentucky's rape crisis centers, please visit the website for the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs which represents and provides staffing and related support for the 13 rape crisis centers and direct services to victims.
Children's Advocacy Centers
Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) serve as a state-of-the-art model of best practices in community response to child sexual abuse. Kentucky has prioritized the development of CACs in order to promote the well-being of children while facilitating the most effective investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.
CACs create a child-friendly environment in which interviews, examinations and mental health services can be conducted. In addition to focusing on the best interest of children, CACs also provide an opportunity to give support to the key professionals who dedicate themselves to the protection of children, particularly social workers, advocates, law enforcement officers and prosecutors. CACs and the teams of professionals attached to them currently serve more than 7000 children every year.
In 1998, Kentucky adopted a statewide CAC network, which provides for one CAC in each of Kentucky's 15 Area Development Districts. Many CAC operates satellite offices to reduce the travel time required to receive services. CACs provide technical assistance training, professional training and community education programming and other coordinated services to support organizations and individuals in their service regions, in addition to direct services they provide to child victims of abuse and sexual assault. The CACs are designed to be not-for-profit organizations governed by a board of directors made up of local leaders who provide ongoing opportunities for growth and stability.
Domestic Violence Centers
The Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence (KCADV) provides a strong, statewide voice on behalf of domestic violence survivors and their children. KCADV administers $13 million in state and federal funds to its 15 member programs, including domestic violence shelters throughout the state. They also offer a Certification Program for all domestic violence program staff including 30 hours of classroom instruction, and a Batterers Intervention Program. KCADV also advocates on domestic violence-related issues at the state and federal levels, coordinates an annual conference with the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault programs, and provides resources, training, and technical assistance to its member programs.
For more information about KCADV’s member programs, please visit the website.