To empower and mobilize communities to end sexual assault.
Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault (PCASA) supports survivors of sexual violence, promotes healing and prevention, and creates social change throughout Central Illinois. We are dedicated to serving as a voice for compassion and justice for victims and a catalyst for social justice in eleven Illinois counties.
In 1975, an impassioned group of local feminists founded a grassroots organization dedicated to stopping the shaming and unjust treatment of raped women. This dedicated group of Springfield volunteers founded a grassroots organization to address two perceived areas of need: the lack of support or services for victims of rape and the outmoded criminal laws and stereotypical gender roles that protected rapists while blaming victims. They named their organization RICS- the Rape Information and Counseling Service. In 2002, RICS was renamed the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault. April 2015 marks our 40th anniversary of service. Our original 24- hour crisis hotline, still staffed by volunteers, remains the cornerstone of comprehensive victim services.
Prairie Center has a two-fold purpose: to alleviate the suffering of sexual assault victims and to prevent sexual violence. We assist men, women, children, and families through the trauma of sexual violence by providing crisis intervention, medical advocacy, and trauma counseling. Prairie Center advocates for victim rights in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. Our prevention education programs focus on reducing the likelihood of sexual victimization, particularly in the lives of children and adolescents. Diversity, equity, and social justice are core values of our organization. PCASA is committed to advancing racial justice.
Prairie Center serves eleven Illinois Counties: Cass, Christian, Greene, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, and Scott. The area is comprised of small and middle-sized cities and multiple rural towns. Our main office is in Springfield, the state capital, located in Sangamon County. PCASA maintains a second office in Jacksonville, located in Morgan County, and a third office in Taylorville, IL, located in Christian County. Diverse stakeholders in eleven counties actively support our program services. We maintain hundreds of collaborative service partnerships.