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Rape Crisis Center

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 commitment of 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 the Department for Community Based Services in 2008.

In order to ensure these specialized services are accessible across the commonwealth, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services 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;
  • Referrals to appropriate community resources; and
  • Help with victim compensation claims.

The Division of Violence Prevention Resources resides in the CHFS Department for Community Based Services 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 Web site 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 development of Children's Advocacy Centers in order to promote the well-being of children while facilitating the most effective investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.

Children's Advocacy Centers create a child-friendly environment in which interviews, examinations and therapy services can be conducted. In addition to focusing on the best interest of children, Children's Advocacy Centers also provide an opportunity to give support to the key professionals who dedicate themselves to the protection of children, particularly including social workers, advocates, law enforcement officers and prosecutors. Children's Advocacy Centers and the teams of professionals attached to them currently serve more than 3,600 children every year.

Children's Advocacy Center service areas conform to the state's 15 Area Development Districts. CACs provide technical assistance training, 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.