Mission

We are committed to changing attitudes that foster violence against others. Services are available regardless of age, gender, race, disability, spiritual preference, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Our purpose is to provide counseling, advocacy and support for all victims of sexual assault and their significant others. We will also provide referrals to appropriate services if a client requests other information.

We promote awareness of the issues and effects of sexual victimization through training programs. We provide educational programs, workshops, and information on specific issues that relate to sexual victimization and prevention, and we also protect the rights of victims by influencing the creation of sexual victimization laws and policies.

History

1977 – The Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service (SACIS) was established by a group of four faculty members at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in August of 1977.  The group was concerned that victims of sexual assault had no place to go to receive support, counseling, and advocacy. At that time, the name of the organization was Coles County Women Against Rape (CCWAR). Services provided included counseling, advocacy, institutional advocacy, and a very general public education program.  Incorporation and not-for-profit status was achieved in the next few years.

1982 – SACIS became an early member of the Illinois Coalition of Women Against Rape, which later became the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA), an affiliation that continues.  SACIS received funding from two local United Way agencies for the first few years.  Funding from ICASA was first achieved in March of 1982. Membership was entirely volunteer until January of 1983 when a quarter-time public education coordinator was hired.

1983 – The public education and professional training programs have greatly expanded since January of 1983 covering a wide variety of topics.  A major accomplishment in 1984 was the establishment of child sexual abuse prevention programs in the public school system.

1987 – The name of the organization was changed to the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service in 1987 in order to attract men as volunteers, to remove “WAR” from CCWAR because the organization is devoted to non-violence, and because “sexual assault” and not “rape” reflect legal terms in Illinois with the establishment of the Illinois Criminal Sexual Assault Law in 1984. The first office was established in 1987 in Lawson Hall on the EIU campus, where the office remained until spring of 2014. Prior to that time, all business was conducted out of members’ homes.

1996 – The first satellite office, Counseling And Information for Sexual Assault/Abuse (CAISA), was established in Robinson in 1996 in order to serve Crawford, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties.

2014 – In May of 2014, the original SACIS office moved off of the EIU campus and into a location within the community. Services to the EIU staff, students and administration continue to be readily available both on and off campus.

2017 – In the fall of 2017, a second office was opened in Charleston to accommodate the tremendous growth of SACIS staff and services that had occurred since 2014.

2018 – In January of 2018, the second CAISA satellite office was opened in Olney, IL, in order to support the expansion of services into Wabash and Edwards County.

SACIS and CAISA staff members and trained volunteers provide full, comprehensive services (counseling, advocacy, prevention education, professional training, and institutional advocacy) throughout Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edwards, Jasper, Richland, Wabash and southern Clark Counties in Illinois.  All direct services are free and confidential!