About Us

The mission of The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center is to promote a culture of consent while providing 24/7 support to anyone affected by sexual trauma and abuse in Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties.
The Care Center envisions a community free of sexual trauma & abuse while supporting healing for survivors.


We are rooted in the community.

Since 1972, The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center has provided support for victims and survivors of sexual trauma and abuse. We were born out of grassroots efforts as the first rape crisis center in Kansas and one of the first centers in the U.S. The Care Center is dedicated to serving people of all ages and genders, being an innovative leader in the field of sexual assault support and prevention, and continuing to promote a culture of consent here in Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties and beyond.

We envision a community free of sexual trauma & abuse.

Our work is grounded in a client-centered and trauma-informed approach. We’re dedicated to ensuring both the safety and agency of our clients. We take our clients’ lead and are prepared to provide a range of services to meet an individual’s needs. Since everyone’s experience is unique, our services are flexible and individualized to best serve our clients.

We are dedicated to providing free, confidential, and accessible services.

The Care Center is dedicated to providing free and confidential services to our clients. All of our services, including counseling, crisis response, advocacy, and education are 100% free of charge. No proof of insurance or documentation status is required. Services can also be accessed at any time in a survivor’s life, regardless of when a traumatic event has occurred. We’re always here.

Our History

A black and white photo of two women talking to an audience.

In 1978 co-directors Polly Pettit & Kathy Hoggard of Douglas County Rape Victim Support Services speak to a group of senior citizens.

The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center was founded in 1972 and was the first rape crisis center in the state of Kansas. In response to a number of sexual assaults that were happening on the University of Kansas campus, a group of innovative women began to coordinate a response and create a community of survivors and supports who were committed to addressing rape and sexual assault on campus and in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1978, the organization was incorporated at the Rape Victim Support Services and was known in the community as RVSS for 30 years. In 2004, the agency changed the name to GaDuGi SafeCenter in order to provide a more inclusive name for survivors and to recognize the expansion of services. GaDuGi (GAH-doo-ghee) is a Cherokee word that means “working together in a community sense.”

Over the years, as the agency has expanded services to all of Douglas County and farther out to Jefferson and Franklin Counties with agency offices in Oskaloosa and Ottawa respectively. 2015 was a year of growth for the agency with the expansion of youth services, therapeutic services in Jefferson and Franklin Counties, and the education program. In October 2015, the agency announced the name change to “The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center”.

Annual Reports

2021 Annual Report

Here is a link to our Guidestar account where you can access other information like board members, 990’s and board reports: Guidestar