Sanctuary, Inc. is a non-profit agency committed to the provision of preventative and restorative services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. We deliver caring, comprehensive support to victims of personal violence in the nine-county area of the Pennyrile Area Development District including: Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Muhlenberg, Todd, and Trigg. We seek to empower through crisis intervention, peer support, victim advocacy, and community education.
Sanctuary, Incorporated was established as a non-profit organization out of a grassroots concern about the far-reaching societal impact of domestic violence. The original goal was to educate the public about domestic violence and to offer victims of this terrible crime a comprehensive range of services. In December 1982, a walk-in counseling center for spouse abuse victims was established in Madisonville, Kentucky. This center offered 24-hour crisis counseling, individual counseling, court advocacy for victims, information and referral services, and a speaker's bureau for increased public education.
Within one year, the need to expand Sanctuary’s services became obvious. In March of 1984, a 12 bed residential shelter was established in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. This shelter provided temporary lodging for abused women and their children in a safe, secure environment. During these early years, Sanctuary primarily offered residential services. In 1987, the agency began to expand its services to a non-residential population. Sanctuary started a support group for victims/survivors, became a stronger presence offering legal advocacy in district court, and began to provide public education in schools and civic groups.
By 1988, the increase in the number of clients seeking shelter and the number of staff required to serve those clients led Sanctuary’s board of directors to move the agency to a larger twenty bed facility. Clients occupied the lower level of this facility and staff occupied the upper level. In that same year, Sanctuary expanded its services further by opening its first outreach office in Hopkins County. In 1989, Sanctuary became a multi-purpose agency with the advent of a job-training program for homeless victims of domestic violence.
In 1992, Sanctuary accepted the challenge of providing crisis intervention services to victims of rape and sexual assault. Sanctuary's Rape Crisis Center was opened in September of that year after Kentucky's General Assembly appropriated $100,000 to provide the rape program with a staff of two: a sexual assault counselor and a volunteer coordinator. The addition of the rape program resulted in the expansion of crisis line services, information/referral services, public education services and individual/group/family counseling services. In addition, the agency added therapy services, consultation services, medical advocacy and an organized volunteer program.
In 1995, two additional part time staff members were added to provide these expanded services in our eight outlying counties, and a master’s level staff member began to provide support/therapy services in those counties. Outreach services continue to include medical advocacy, legal advocacy, case management, information/referrals, counseling, and weekly support groups.
In 1997, Sanctuary began renovation of a downtown hotel in Hopkinsville. In the fall of 2000, Sanctuary opened this new facility and expanded program services to include six transitional housing units: one handicap unit, two individual occupancy units, two two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit. Most recently, Sanctuary added five permanent housing units in December 2004.