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CARDV Celebrates 35 Years of Service

5 July 2016 | 4:58 pm

Almost forty years ago a small group of women came together to start a hotline for sexual assault survivors. Operated entirely by volunteers, Corvallis Women Against Rape (CWAR) opened their hotline January 14, 1977. The phone number, 754-0110, is the same crisis line number CARDV
answers 24/7 today.

Violence against women was largely hidden until the 1970s. If a woman did find the courage to speak up, most likely the legal and social response was that she herself was to blame.

The movement to end violence against women grew out of the peace and civil rights movements of the 1960s when the women realized that they were trying to obtain rights for others that they themselves did not have.  Consciousness-raising groups began springing up across the country and for the first time women began talking with one another about the truth of their lives.   

The overwhelming theme of those groups was violence:  rape, battery, incest, stalking, sexual  harassment, prostitution and pornography.  The women talked about the violence they had experienced, or had witnessed their mothers or sisters or friends going through.  

They decided to fight back and they did by igniting a grassroots movement that created crisis lines and shelters.  Those early rape hotlines were the advocates’ home phone numbers, and the domestic violence shelters were their own homes.  Then in 1972 the first official rape crisis hotline started in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the first official domestic violence shelter opening in 1974, also in St. Paul.

CARDV incorporated in July, 1981 when the Rape Crisis Center (formerly CWAR) and the Linn-Benton Association for the Prevention of Domestic Violence merged.  The following January, we opened our first shelter for domestic and sexual assault survivors.  

This year marks CARDV’s 35th anniversary.  And to celebrate we’ve published a book recounting our beginnings, our operations and our future:  The Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence:  A Local History of a National Movement.   The book was written entirely on the personal time of Mary Zelinka, long-time CARDV volunteer and staff, with publication costs donated by friends of CARDV.  All proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit survivors of sexual and domestic violence.  Books are now available, click here for more details.


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