In 1981, following four years of discussion the Women's Forum was established. That same year the forum elected a president and secretary. One of the main tasks before the forum was to become incorporated as a 501(C)(3). A certificate of incorporation was issued to the Women's Forum on May 21, 1981. The next year the "Rainbow House" was opened in Ridgeway, Virginia.
By 1984, the shelter was no longer the only program which the Women's Forum operated. There were two paid staff members and a new shelter located in Martinsville. Also in 1984, after securing stable funding, the Women's Forum changed its name to Citizens Against Family Violence, Inc. In 2014, the agency merged with another local nonprofit, CONTACT ListenLine, a 24 hour, nationally accredited hotline serving the same localities. The boards of directors recognized the duplicative services in the community and finalized the merger in 2014.
Following a strategic planning session in early 2016, the board of directors unanimously decided to change the name and re-brand the organization as Southside Survivor Response Center, Inc. (SSRC) to indicate a new era of service to the community for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as other crimes. Also in 2016, SSRC stepped up to better serve the Hispanic/Latino community with the addition of a Spanish speaking crisis advocate.
This year, SSRC is celebrating 39 years of providing confidential services to women and children affected by domestic violence, sexual violence and homelessness. With 23 employees, hundreds of volunteers and multiple community collaborations, in addition to providing post-vention services SSRC is now also taking an upstream approach by providing evidence-based prevention programming in the community.
Southside Survivor Response Center provides crisis intervention, advocacy, safety services, and education to empower people affected by sexual assault, domestic violence and various crisis situations through community collaboration.
Southside Survivor Response Center envisions a community that is empowered to end sexual/domestic violence and equipped to respond to various crisis situations.