Front Cover
 Sparc history
 Sparc mission
 Sparc vision

Title: Sexual and Physical Abuse Resource Center (SPARC) History and Documents
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077458/00003
 Material Information
Title: Sexual and Physical Abuse Resource Center (SPARC) History and Documents
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: SPARC
Publisher: SPARC
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077458
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
    Sparc history
        Page 1
    Sparc mission
        Page 2
    Sparc vision
        Page 3
Full Text

sexual and




,enter I


The Sexual and Physical Abuse Resource Center (SPARC) has its origins in
the Rape Information and Counseling Services (RICS) which began in 1974.
RICS established a rape hotline in 1974 and almost immediately began
receiving phone calls from battered women. As media coverage of spouse
abuse increased, so did the numbers of calls RICS received from victims
of battering. In 1976, RICS expanded its services to include battered
women, providing many of the services to these victims that were
available to rape victims. It became obvious, however, that victims of
battering needed more than crisis counseling or occasional shelter in a
volunteer's home.

In March 1977, RICS applied for and received three positions through
the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) for a one year
project on domestic violence. The project provided counseling,
information, referrals, victims advocacy services, and community
education. Clients were referred to local agencies for shelter
(Pleasant house, Salvation Army). These were unsuitable for several
reasons: they had limits of three to four days, they did not offer
counseling or a supportive atmosphere for woemn, and they were only
open at night; the women and children had to stay somewhere else
during the day.

In September 1977, a spouse abuse hotline, 377-TALK, was added and RICS
changed its name to the Sexual and Physical Resource Center (SPARC) to
reflect the organization's broader mission. SPARC applied for its
present shelter site through the Regional Utilities Board and was
chosen over several other applicants in January 1978. Although the
first client was admitted March 11, the shelter was officially opened
on March 30 with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. SPARC
became a charter member of the Refuge Information Network and was
selected to send a delegate to represent the southeastern region on the
steering committee of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

In 1979, SPARC applied for and was granted state funding. As a result,
SPARC received an official mandate to provide services to HRS District
Three. At present, our funding comes from the United Way, the Marriage
License Trust Fund and our own fundraising. The Marriage License Trust
Fund monies are administered by HRS and we are mandated to serve eleven
counties (Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton,
Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee, and Union).

SPARC's services have continued to expand. In addition to our shelter,
we have an out-of-shelter program which includes individual, group and
couples counseling and a hospital based advocacy program. SPARC also
provides a 24 hour crisis hotline, information and referral, agency
inservice training, community education, volunteer training program and
a children's therapeutic program. In 1985, SPARC opened an outreach
office in Gainesville which houses the administrative staff and the
out-of-shelter programs. Having a public location helps keep SPARC's
service well known in the community.



In light of our vision for the world, the mission of the Sexual
and Physical Abuse Resource Center is to work toward achievement
of a non-violent, free society by impacting on our community on
several levels: the individual, the family, the community and its
institutions, and the culture itself.

Interrupting the battering and ending the cycle of violence in
our community's families is foundational to SPARC's mission.
SPARC provides the battered woman and her children with safety,
information, access to resources, and programs and services which
promote her empowerment and right to free choice. Our programs
support and involve battered women of all racial, social, ethnic,
religious, and economic groups, ages and life styles.

Beyond crisis intervention with individual families, SPARC's
mission is to move into the realm of social change. Societal
attitudes are deeply ingrained and tacitly condone violence in the
family and exploitive power and control in general, especially as
regards women and children. These attitudes manifest in the
legal, financial, educational, health care, and religious
institutions of our community and serve to support the continued
existence of family violence. By advocating for change in these
arenas (through education, legislation, and alliances with others
who share our vision), SPARC hopes one day to see the end of
violence in the lives of women and children, and a culture which is
vehemently and fully opposed to the use of violence as a means of
control over others..



SPARC's founding mothers had a definite vision for the world,
toward the realization of which they hoped SPARC would contribute
mightily. The present day organization, the growing entity that
has steadily evolved from the grassroots planted by those women
over a decade ago, remains true to that vision.

We continue to envision and work toward a world in which peace
prevails among the Earth's inhabitants, a world in which violence
is no longer the accepted tool with which conflict is resolved, on
an international level or in the family. We dream of a world in
which exploitation no longer has a place, where oppression of any
kind is intolerable, where the concept of "privilege" as a limited
resource (to which certain groups of people have little or no
access) will be alien and unacceptable. Indeed, the very concept
of power will be redefined. The fundamental right to safety,
freedom from fear, freedom to choose, and access to resources with
which to meet basic needs will be the power that all people will
know and will share in equally.

We dream of a world of societies based on a new values system,
where sensitivity, caring, nurturance, and intuition are
important qualities and pursuits. We envision cooperation
replacing competition, with people behaving in constructive rather
than destructive ways. We envision a planet peopled by
individuals who value and enjoy diversity, where differences of
opinion, experience, color, background, and lifestyle are welcomed
rather than judged or viewed as threatening.

While SPARC in no way professes an ability to single-handedly or
heroiclly (or she-roically?) accomplish the sweeping global
changes this vision entails, the work of our organization is
always consistent with movement toward this dream of a radically
different state of the world.

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