Our mission is to lessen the trauma to victims of sexual assault, child abuse/neglect, and other crime and their families and to improve the response of the criminal justice system by uniting the efforts of public agencies and enlisting support from the community. By providing a safe haven for these victims of crime, our goals are to advocate for their rights and specific needs and create an environment where violence is no longer tolerated.
From The Beginning...
The Crisis Hotline came into existence in 1982 to provide a caring response to anyone in need of help and referral to any appropriate agency or individual. Calls covered issues such as family violence, sexual abuse, suicide, homelessness, financial problems and loneliness.
The Women’s Crisis Center Outreach Program began operating out of the Crisis Hotline office in 1988. In 1989, The Child Welfare Alliance of Calhoun County was formed to combat the growing problem of child abuse in Calhoun County. The Alliance was committed to cooperating with the local unit of CPS, the school system and any other agency or organization that provided services for children.
In 1992, The Harbor Victim’s Advocacy Center was formed to house The Child Welfare Alliance, the Women’s Crisis Center Outreach, Crime Victims’ Assistance Program and the Crisis Hotline, but also the new Children’s Advocacy Center. Parenting classes, counseling, support groups, and therapy were offered to women, children, families and others in crisis.
In 1998, The Harbor added a sexual assault program funded by the Office of the Attorney General. In 1999, all the separate boards and programs came together as The Harbor Children’s Alliance and Victim Center.
The program now offers accompaniment and transportation, crisis intervention, victim advocacy and other support services to child victims of sexual assault, physical abuse and neglect, and adult victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and other violent crimes. Volunteers or staff may accompany a victim to the hospital, court, or other agencies and are available to provide 24 hour crisis intervention.
Public information and education, particularly sexual assault and child abuse and neglect prevention programs, are presented in the community and schools. The Harbor provides a child-friendly, non-threatening, non-institutional environment where a child will feel safe to tell his/her story. The center provides the opportunity for law enforcement, CPS, prosecution, and child advocates to work together to prevent re-victimization of children and hold more offenders accountable. The Harbor seeks to maintain a supportive relationship with the victim and cooperative entities throughout the process.