The Sexual Assault Assistance Program was founded in 1981 as the result of a collaborative effort of the county governments in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee to respond to the growing number of sexual assault cases and limited services available for sexual assault victims. The State Attorney’s Office, Indian River State College and the IRSC Crime Lab also played vital roles in the foundation of the program and advocating for funding. In the early years, the program was run by one paid staff member and several volunteers who worked tirelessly to provide services to sexual assault victims across the four county area.
Today, The Sexual Assault Assistance Program (SAAP) is the Certified Rape Crisis Program for Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee Counties (also known as the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida). Through continued funding from the four counties as well as grants from VOCA and Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, our staff of 20 SAAP advocates are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide crisis intervention, information and referrals, advocacy and accompaniment for both reporting and non-reporting victims of sexual assault. We also offer a 24 hour confidential live helpline (866-828-7273) answered by our victim advocate staff.
We respect and defend the rights of survivors– through diligence and perseverance. We educate the public and work to sensitize the law enforcement community to sexual violence and the needs of the survivors– through leadership and collaboration. We also provide a coordinated, collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to sexual violence on the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee with the services and support to lead victims towards empowerment and re-connection. We are with you through the justice system process (should you choose to report). We also offer referral sources (such as therapy and financial assistance to those that qualify). We also partake in community education, events and awareness.
In 2019, The Sexual Assault Assistance Program began offering free therapy and victim/survivor personal empowerment workshops. Our goal is to remove financial barriers to those seeking help in healing from the trauma of sexual assault. All of our services are free and open to everyone in our service area.
You will be believed here.