Originally founded in 1980 as the California State Coalition of Rape Crisis Centers, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) was created by rape crisis centers from across the state interested in creating a unified voice to advocate on behalf of the statewide needs of survivors, system’s change, funding needs and policy advocacy.
In 1997, CALCASA received the funding to open a fully staffed office in Oakland, California. Today, there are two offices located in Sacramento and Pasadena.
CALCASA is the only professional organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of and supporting the work of rape crisis centers, which operate independently throughout California. CALCASA is committed to ending sexual violence through a multifaceted approach of prevention, intervention, education, research, advocacy and public policy.
The organization provides a critical bridge among the efforts made by advocates providing direct services, statewide policy makers and federal responses to violence against women. Through ongoing communication and meetings with member programs, CALCASA is able to relay the challenges and successes of local work to the national level; and at the same time convey best practices, evidence-based and practice-based evidence programs emerging at the national level to local member programs.
Since CALCASA has a national and local perspective of emerging issues and is also familiar with the demographic and cultural makeup of California, it can help to support the work of member centers by designing effective ways to address and integrate developing issues into the direct service programs of rape crisis centers, including providing training and technical assistance that many members may not otherwise be able to access.