Seattle Rape Relief announces closure on June 22, 1999.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 1/01/1999
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 2299

On June 22, 1999, Seattle Rape Relief, the oldest rape crisis center in the United States, announces that it will close.

The closure was partly due to financial reasons -- the agency had seen a $50,000 cut in government funding in the past year -- but the closure also came amidst conflicts between the Board of Directors and staff members.

Amanda Madorno, interim executive director, had laid off three out of a dozen staff members within two weeks of taking office, and four employees then quit in protest. The 50-member volunteer corps that staffed the 24-hour crisis hotline was disbanded.

Seattle Rape Relief was the first rape crisis center in the United States. It was organized in the spring of 1972 from a speakout on rape.

Its 1999 Mission Statement reads:

"Seattle Rape Relief is a non-profit, community based organization confronting the issue of sexual violence. We work to empower survivors and their significant others through support and advocacy services. We strive to reduce sexual violence through education. We are committed to providing services that are culturally appropriate and accessible. Recognizing the connections between sexual violence and all forms of oppression, Seattle Rape Relief is dedicated to social change" (Seattle Rape Relief).

Sources:

Janet Burkitt, "Rape Crisis Agency is Officially Closed," The Seattle Times, June 23, 1999, (http://archives.seattletimes.com); "Seattle Rape Relief," Seattle Rape Relief Website (http://www.seanet.com/~searr/history.html).


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