NJCASA History

Who Is NJCASA?

The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) is the statewide coalition, representing the collective voice of sexual violence survivors, their loved ones and significant others, 22 Sexual Violence Programs throughout New Jersey, as well as individuals, students and corporations concerned about ending sexual violence. Since its inception in 1981, NJCASA has been acting as an advocate for survivors, their loved ones and significant others statewide, while providing information and education to the public, media and government officials regarding sexual violence issues. NJCASA is dedicated to developing and maintaining programs and services which support our mission of eliminating sexual violence throughout New Jersey and its communities.

Timeline of NJCASA History

1981

  • NJCASA is established by a group of sexual violence service providers to ensure that funding is utlizied for services to survivors

1985

  • Funding for services to sexual violence survivors becomes a line item on the state budget – the initial allocation is $250,000

1988

  • NJCASA is incorporated

1990

  • By the early 90s there is a Sexual Violence Program in each county of New Jersey

1993

  • NJCASA obtains 501(c) 3 status, hires its first Executive Director and opens the first Executive Office

1998

  • NJ Dept of Law and Public Safety establishes standards for providing services to survivors of sexual assault

2000

  • NJCASA launches its first public education campaign: Begin by Believing

2001

  • NJCASA establishes a statewide hotline to direct calls to local sexual violence hotlines
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) legislation is passed into law requiring each county to establish or participate in an existing Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

2003

  • NJCASA holds its first Legislative Action Day at the State House in Trenton
  • The Women of Color Caucus (WOCC) is established
  • Teresa's Truth & Courage Fund, honoring Teresa Carbone, is established to provide emergency funding to survivors of sexual violence and to offer educational programs to prevent childhood sexual abuse
  • Invasion of Privacy/Video Voyeurism becomes a crime

2004

  • NJCASA holds its first statewide conference: The Other Half of the Solution: Men Taking a Stand to End Sexual Violence
  • NJCASA launches the SAVE project to train health care professionals on screening patients for sexual violence
  • The state budget line item for services to sexual violence survivors is increased by $500,000
  • NJ Dept of Law and Public Safety revises the Attorney General's Standards for Providing Services to Survivors of Sexual Assault

2005

  • Emergency funding enables NJ Sexual Violence Programs to continue providing services to survivors, their loved ones and significant others
  • Legislation is passed for Emergency Contraception, Anti-Human Trafficking, Charitable Immunity and Sex Crimes Treatment Fund
  • New Jersey chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of six states to participate in the EMPOWER Project to increase state-level capacity for the prevention of sexual violence
  • NJCASA launches the Begin by Believing campaign

2006

  • NJCASA celebrates its 25th Anniversary
  • A new NJCASA logo is created to better reflect the Coalition's mission and dedication to the empowerment of survivors
  • Brochures are produced in Bengali, Hindi, Korean, Russian, and Spanish to inform non-English and limited-English speaking NJ residents
  • NJCASA ensures that translators are available through the Language Line to assist survivors in receiving support services
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace is produced to inform survivors of their rights
  • NJCASA's quarterly newsletter in renamed: Voices in Action, and reaches over 750 readers statewide and across the nation

2007

  • NJCASA builds capacity: Board of Trustees is restructured to include community members; new staff positions are created; NJCASA moves to larger office space
  • Guide to Legislative Advocacy is produced to inform the public about ways to proactively participate in the legislative process
  • Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates' Training Manual and accompanying Facilitator's Guide is produced for all local Sexual Violence Programs to provide consistency across the state.   This is the first step in developing standards of service for sexual violence survivors in NJ.
  • NJCASA holds its second statewide conference: It Takes Everyone to Prevent Sexual Violence

2008

  • First NJCASA Law Enforcement Advisory Board meets to plan for training for first responders to sexual violence
  • First meeting held by Sexual Violence Program members to outline statewide advocate certification and Sexual Violence Program standards
  • NJCASA partners with the Vera Institute of Justice to launch a year-long Capacity Development Initiative to increase readiness and capacity of the Sexual Violence Programs to implement primary prevention strategies
  • No Wrong Door collaborative created with the Arc of NJ, the Mental Health Association in NJ, and the NJ Coalition for Battered Women to provide seamless services to survivors with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness
  • NJCASA participates in the VAWA Cultural Competency Initiative

2009

  • NJCASA hires first full-time Prevention Coordinator
  • NJCASA holds is third statewide conference: Sexual Violence Prevention: Connecting the Dots
  • State legislation is passed designating April 28 as New Jersey Denim Day
  • NJCASA holds first statewide Denim Day rally in Trenton
  • NJCASA awarded AmeriCorps grant to place Members in Sexual Violence Programs and NJCASA to increase capacity for advocacy, prevention, and volunteer programs and services
  • NJCASA prioritizes outreach to college campuses
  • NJCASA partners with the Rutgers Center on Violence Against Women and Children (CVAWC) to develop a state-wide survey on gender norms, rape myths, and bystander behavior as part of a statewide baseline measure for the prevention of sexual violence
  • The Division on Women designates NJCASA as the pass-through funder for the new federal Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) State Formula Grant
  • NJCASA hosts 4-day "Green Dot" training for the primary prevention of sexual violence
  • Training Institute is launched

2010

  • Pilot sites are selected in Morris and Atlantic counties for the No Wrong Door project
  • College Consortium is launched
  • Law Enforcement first responders survivor-centered curriculum is completed and DVD is produced for 2-hour training
  • Sexual Violence Victim's Bill of Rights is introduced in the legislature
  • NJCASA logo is updated
  • NJCASA awards first SASP grants to SVPs and one designated specifically for under-served populations
  • NJCASA partners with the New Mexico Literacy Project to customize media literacy curriculum for issues specific to sexual violence