S-O-S

S-O-S is the Rape Crisis Center for St. Joseph County, offering a variety of services to survivors of sexual abuse/assault and domestic violence and their significant others.
  • 24-Hour Crisis Line for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. (574)289-HELP (4357)
  • Medical Advocacy and Accompaniment: S-O-S volunteer Advocates inform survivors of their medical options regarding treatment, evidence collection, sexually transmitted disease/testing (including HIV/AIDS) and follow up care. Advocates can be present and provide support at the hospital emergency room exam. 
  • Legal Advocacy and Accompaniment: The S-O-S Special Victims Advocate provides support, accompaniment and referral/information about criminal and civil justice systems to adult victims of sexual assault. 
  • Support Groups: S-O-S offers the following free support groups at the Family Justice Center. For information on these groups, call (574)234-6900. 
    • Courage to Thrive - for adults who have experienced rape or sexual assault; referrals accepted during intake, over the phone or via partner agencies.
    • Mother's Group - for Mothers of Children who have experienced sexual abuse. Meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
    • Out of the Shadows - College-Age Female Sexual Assault Support Group. Meets on Sundays from 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Counseling: Referrals available to specially trained therapists for individual or group counseling.
  • Community Outreach
    • Professional Training: Specialized training is available to law enforcement, medical personnel and educators. Training can be customized to address your group's needs. 
    • Educational presentations are also available for local college campuses and community groups. 
  • Risk Reduction Programs: S-O-S offers several free, age specific programs to local schools, addressing sexual abuse, rape, sexual harrassment, teen dating violence and domestic violence. 

To learn more about S-O-S services, please call (574) 234-6900.


You can help S-O-S!

S-O-S relies on volunteers for many of its programs. You can help reduce community violence and aid those in need! Call S-O-S at (574) 234-6900. to learn more.

Become an S-O-S volunteer advocate. Receive special training and provide crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Volunteer Advocates undergo 33 hours of training and help victims in person at area hospitals and on the phone.
  • Educate children by becoming an S-O-S Risk Reduction Program volunteer. 
  • Share information about S-O-S. 
  • Invite an S-O-S speaker to address your organization, club members, employees, and students. 
  • Raise public awareness (including your own) about sexual assault and domestic violence. 
  • Confront attitudes and behaviors that lead to sexual assault or domestic violence. 
  • Make a tax-deductible contribution to S-O-S.

What are Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence?

Sexual assault and domestic violence are destructive to our society and traumatize survivors, their families and their friends. 

Sexual assault includes a broad range of sexual acts against someone's will by force, threat of force or in situations when an individual is unable to give consent. Such situations include, but are not limited to: 
  • Rape and attempted rape by strangers and by persons known to the victim. 
  • Child molestation, incest, child exploitation. 
  • Sexual harassment in school, the workplace and on the streets.
  • Obscene phone calls and indecent exposure. 
  • Sexual contact with an individual who is voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated (drugged) and cannot give consent. 

Domestic violence is a pattern of control through physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse in an intimate relationship. It can include: 
  • Hitting, slapping, grabbing 
  • Physical restraint 
  • Name-calling 
  • Isolation 
  • Intimidation 
  • Forced sex 
  • Other abusive behaviors

Facts About Sexual Assault
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape .
  • One American is sexually assaulted every two minutes. 
  • Two-thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone who is know to the victim. 
  • Less than 30% of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement.

Facts About Child Sexual Abuse
  • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys is sexually abused at least once prior to age 18. 
  • 44% of all rape victims are under age 18. 15% are under age 12. 
  • One-fourth of the children in a typical classroom have been affected by sexual abuse, regardless of geographical area, race, or socioeconomic class. 
  • Approximately 85% of child sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. 
  • Any child can be victimized regardless of his or her physical and mental capacity or personality 
  • Anyone can be a child molester. There is no valid profile for molesters. All ages, levels of intelligence, races, and religions are represented. Child molesters are single and married, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual. Hetersexual males present a greater risk to children than homosexual males. 
  • Most child molesters will molest more than once.

Facts About Domestic Violence
  • Over 50% of all women will experience physical violence in an intimate relationship. 
  • 1 in 8 high school students will be involved in a violent relationship before they graduate. 
  • Nearly 1 in 4 American women between the ages of 18 and 65 has experienced domestic violence. 
  • In 1996 there were nearly 1,000,000 female victims and about 150,000 male victims of intimate violence. 
  • 62% of women reporting childhood abuse had experienced domestic violence as an adult, compared with only 25% of women without a history of childhood abuse. 
  • Violence and abuse rates for women vary little according to urban, rural, or suburban settings or by race, ethnicity, or education levels. 
  • In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends, while 3% of males were killed by their wives of girlfriends. 
  • More than half of the victims seeking mental health care are adult survivors of child sexual or physical abuse. 
  • Approximately 1 million women and 371,000 men are stalked annually in the U.S. 
  • 81% of the women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabitation partner were also physically assaulted by the same partner.