To provide healing for children, adults, and families affected by sexual assault and to end sexual violence through counseling, education, and advocacy.
SAC was started in 1978 by two Vanderbilt University divinity students who saw a need to help victims of rape and sexual abuse. Their vision was to provide support to all survivors of sexual assault and to work to end sexual violence. SAC's mission today reflects our founders' vision: To provide healing for children, adults, and families affected by sexual assault and to end sexual violence through counseling, education, and advocacy. SAC has been in several locations over the years with a fire destroying the building and files in 1988. A permanent site was established in 1997 when a building was purchased and paid for at 25 Lindsley Avenue. In 2008 SAC moved to a new location at 101 French Landing, where we still operate today. Our building was fully paid for through a successful capital campaign in 2008. SAC operated a satellite office in Clarksville for over 15 years but recently closed our doors, in October 2020, due to reduced funding in that community. SAC is working with local service providers to ensure trauma-informed services are still offered to survivors in Clarksville.
In the past 3-4 years, SAC has grown and changed tremendously and experienced a CEO leadership transition. Our agency has doubled in size and budget, going from a staff of approximately 25 to 55. We now have more robust service offerings including a Clinical Department, an Advocacy, SAFE Clinic & Hotline Team, a Statewide Training team, and a Prevention & Outreach team. The most notable change and addition to SAC was the opening of the Tohill SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam) Clinic in Sept. 2018. SAC now provides medical-legal rape exams onsite 24/7, in partnership with Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners from Nashville General Hospital. The SAFE Clinic was created after several years of multidisciplinary teamwork around improving our city's coordinated response to rape victims. For decades, there was only one place a rape victim could go in Davidson County to receive a rape exam. Now, in addition to there being several hospitals where a victim can receive an exam, SAC's SAFE Clinic is the primary location for the provision of these exams. The Clinic expands the continuum of care we can provide victims/survivors.
SAC's CEO leadership changed in January 2018. Tim Tohill retired after 25 years as SAC's President & CEO. Rachel Freeman was named SAC's new President & CEO following a year of succession training with Tohill. Rachel has been with SAC since 2002 in various roles.
We are committed to providing the most effective services that empower individuals to overcome the effects of sexual assault. Our clinical staff is focused on providing specialized services to all victims of sexual assault including men, women, and children, regardless of their ability to pay. We are committed to providing a warm, safe, welcoming environment for all regardless of age, ethnicity, culture, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or disability.
We use standardized measures to evaluate the progress our clients are achieving to reduce their trauma-related symptoms such as depression and anxiety. We are equally committed to reducing the number of individuals that are sexually abused by providing our community with the knowledge and skills to reduce sexual violence. Over 175,000 children throughout Tennessee are participating in our elementary school safety program, Safe@Last. Middle and high school students are exploring healthy relationships through our curriculum titled BE (Be Empowered), and we educate adults through the prevention program, Stewards of Children, by increasing their knowledge about the impact sexual violence has on our community and how we can prevent it.
For more complete information, go to our GivingMatters profile here