Established in 1977 as a “grass roots” initiative to provide crisis intervention, advocacy and shelter to victims of domestic/family violence, the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County was incorporated into a Not for Profit 501c3 in April 1979. The program was certified in that same year as a New York State Office of Children and Family Services Shelter and enhanced its Shelter certification to become a full Domestic Violence program in 1999. In 1986, the organization received New York State Department of Health certification as a Rape Crisis/Sexual Assault Center for Jefferson County. In 1999 we also initiated the Immediate Response Team for domestic violence and sexual assault that teams the Agency’s Response Team Advocates and all local law enforcement officers to respond together to incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. This provides immediate crisis intervention and advocacy at the time of the incident. In 2006, the Agency initiated the Child Advocacy Program of Northern New York which is a single point of contact for CPS, law enforcement and medical professionals to interview children who have been sexually and/or physically abused. In 2009, a partnership grant with the NYS Office of Court Administration formed to begin an Integrated Domestic Violence Court Initiative for consumers in Jefferson County.

Forty years since inception, we have expanded the mission of the Agency to help all victims of violence and evolved our direct services program into a comprehensive victim services agency and an effective coordinated community response with our allied professionals in the field of victim services in Jefferson County. We have augmented our early direct services program of advocacy and counseling programs by opening satellite offices for the accessibility of our consumers at the Jefferson County Court Complex, the district attorney’s office, and the Child Advocacy Center.

During the last fourteen years we have increased our staff for both our Residential & Non Residential Programs from approximately 11 individuals to 40 staff positions. This allows the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County to assist a much larger consumer base and significantly increase the number of services to individuals that benefit from them in our community to help them move in the direction of a violence free life.