In May 2001, after establishing the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Task Force programs in Harrison and Crawford County, it became apparent that a freestanding facility to provide privacy and quality treatment to victims of sexual assault was necessary. A grass roots effort, organized by Pam Davis, Cheryl Hillenburg and Lola Ratterman, located a facility in Milltown, IN well suited for a sexual assault treatment center. In July of 2001 a Board of Directors was established and moved forward in creating an independent sexual assault treatment center. The Southern Indiana Regional Alliance to Prevent Exploitation, Inc., incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 (non profit) in October of 2001. Since then the community has rallied to support this endeavor.
The R.A.P.E. Treatment Center opened on April 18, 2002, just one year after its conception. Lola Ratterman, RN, SANE-A was named executive director. Originally services were only provided to adolescents and adults. However, the need for a pediatric program was overwhelming and Pediatric Sexual Assault services began in November 2002, providing services to children of all ages. As knowledge of the specific needs of children grew, the founders of the R.A.P.E. Treatment Center began working to establish a Child Advocacy Center that would be housed in the same facility. With this ideal came a relationship with the National Children's Alliance. On August 5, 2004, Southern Indiana Regional Alliance to Prevent Exploitation, Inc. became an associate member of the National Children's Alliance. On October 3, 2004, the R.A.P.E. Treatment Center became the Comfort House, Sexual Assault Treatment and Child Advocacy Center.
In October 2006 Comfort House refocused primary efforts on Child Advocacy and the use of the Finding Words interview style, combined with the multi-disciplinary team approach. Because of the increased number of clients served in the more populous Harrison County, in September 2007 funding was obtained from Harrison County Commissioners to facilitate opening of Comfort House, Harrison County. This facility was opened in January of 2008.
Serve on the Harrison County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Council Board of Directors
Assist in the organization of Harrison County's "Take Back the Night"
Organized the inaugural Harrison County "Men against Violence against Women Rally" in conjunction with Hoosier Hills PACT
Organized the inaugural "Going the Distance to Prevent Domestic Violence" walk.
Present the Good Touch Bad Touch prevention program to Harrison County grades K-1
Present the Speak Up Be Safe prevention program to Harrison County grades K-6
Our services are provided free of charge in a confidential setting. We are a non profit organization, incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 in October of 2001. Comfort House operates on local, state and federal funding sources as well as community support.
Grantor and fund providers have included the Community Foundation of Crawford County, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Harrison County Community Foundation, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Indiana Department of Children's Services, National Children's Alliance, Metro United Way, Hook's Foundation, Samerian Foundation, and the Harrison County Commissioners and Council.
Organizations that have supported our programs through joint ventures, program ideas, brochures, or curriculum include: Indiana Coalition against Domestic Violence, Indiana Victims Assistance Network, Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Crisis Connection, Hoosier Hills PACT, The Center for Women and Families, Albion Fellows Bacon Center, SeeItandStopIt.org, National Children's Alliance, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, CARe, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and KidsRights.
Comfort House is the assumed business name for the Southern Indiana Regional Alliance to Prevent Exploitation, Inc. This organization is governed by a 6 member volunteer Board of Directors who hires and supervises the Executive Director, Program Coordinator and any other staff and contract labor.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
George W. Black III - President
Patricia Wolfe - Vice President
Sharon Laufer, M.D. - Treasurer
Christine Pendleton - Secretary
Diane Clarke- Member
Libby Tucker - Member
Donna Lloyd - Executive Director
Kathryn Keller - Program Director