The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) is a membership organization promoting safety, justice, and healing for survivors while working toward the elimination of sexual violence.
Founded in 1984, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) provides a statewide presence, expertise and support to agencies and programs that serve victims of sexual violence in Colorado. CCASA's membership includes sexual assault survivors, rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, dual domestic violence and sexual assault programs, victim advocates, offender treatment programs, law enforcement agencies, public health agencies, medical professionals, prosecutors, public officials, community programs and concerned individuals throughout Colorado. CCASA provides information; referrals; technical assistance; training on sexual assault and sexual assault prevention; advocates for resources for service providers; fosters collaboration through involvement on many multidisciplinary boards, committees, task forces and community groups; and works with legislators and providers to affect improvements in public policy.
History of CCASA's Achievements:
1984: CCASA was formed by rape crisis advocates.
1988: Helped make marital rape a crime in Colorado.
1989: Provided statewide training on rural programs and new services.
1990-1993: Advocated for legislation extending the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault from one year to six years, providing an avenue for adult survivors to file civil actions.
1992: Began statewide training on Sexual Assault Exam protocol.
1993: Initiated statewide training on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIVAIDS Protocol.
1995: Led efforts resulting in passage of comprehensive sexual assault victim's rights legislation.
1995- Present: Helped create the Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) Project - a statewide training team addressing sexual assault and domestic violence issues in communities.
1996: Advocated for legislation to increase victim safety through identification, prosecution, treatment, monitoring, and incarceration of sex offenders.
1998: Led efforts of Lifetime Supervision for Sex Offenders bill, providing the possibility of supervision of sex offenders by the justice system over the perpetrator's lifetime.
1999: Led efforts to pass legislation making the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) a child abuse crime in Colorado; in collaboration CDPHE, released the first statewide survey on the prevalence of sexual assault in Colorado.
2002: Led efforts to pass legislation extending Statute of Limitations for reporting childhood sexual abuse and requiring mandatory reporting of abuse for clergy; in collaboration CDPHE, launched the "Stimulate Conversation" Campaign on four Colorado college campuses. This web-based sexual assault prevention campaign, geared towards young men, addresses the confusion, concerns and challenges that suround questions of sexual consent. This program can be accessed at www.whynotask.org.
2003: Hosted the first Colorado statewide conference on sexual assault, entitled "Making Connections: Human Rights, Social Justice, and Prevention and Advocacy." The conference featured national speakers including Loretta Ross, Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education; Jackson Katz, co-founder, Mentors in Violence Prevention Program, and foremost authority on sexual violence prevention programs for men; Dr. David Lisak, Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, and expert on sex offender tactics; Marc LeBeau, Investigator with FBI and author of "Drug -Facilitated Sexual Assault: A Forensic Handbook"; and Bonnie Campbell, former director of the Violence Against Women Office in Washington, DC
2009: Led efforts to pass legislation protecting advocate confidentiality for adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
2010: Led efforts to pass legislation re-authorizing Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board.
2011: Collaborative statewide conference renamed Colorado Advocacy in Action conference. Hosted the first annual statewide Colorado SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Institute.
2012: Hosted the largest ever annual statewide event at the Capitol in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).
2013: Led efforts to pass the Colorado SAVE Act, which provides much-needed financial assistance to sexual assault victims when they incur expenses associated with the medical forensic exam.
2014: Led efforts to pass legislation that provides civil legal protections for victims who have a child as a result of rape.
2015: Led efforts to pass legislation that created an anonymous reporting option, which enables survivors of sexual assault to have medical forensic evidence collected without having to report to law enforcement; allowing them time to consider their options without losing valuable evidence should they chose to move forward in the criminal justice system.
2016: Led efforts to extend Colorado's statute of limitation for adult sexual assault from 10 to 20 years.
Quotes from 2014 membership survey:
"CCASA is a vital education and support source for professional and victims."
"CCASA helps keep agencies informed with new and upcoming changes within the field."
"Without CCASA my ability be aware of, learn and forward information essential to serving victims of sexual assault in a timely manner would be extremely challenging."
"CCASA has a strong, educated and empowered voice, supporting survivors of sexual assault in a number of vital ways."
"It takes a village to do this work. Some of us are the emergency responders and some of us make sure that we have all the tool we need in out tool box. CCASA fills the tool box and make sure the tools are working."