We believe in the dignity of the individual, the ultimate right to make choices, advocacy for every person and the ability to heal.
The Cottage raises awareness and facilitates the healing of individuals, families and communities affected by sexual violence and child abuse.
In 1974, the Athens Rape Crisis Line was established in reaction to a serial rapist by Athens Feminists, a group of Athens area activists. The Athens Rape Crisis Line was run purely by volunteers who answered calls in shifts around the clock. Athens Rape Crisis Line was the first anti-sexual assault organization formed in Georgia and was a founding member of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA).
In 1985, the Rape Crisis Line received funding through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to hire staff and open an office serving Clarke, Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oglethorpe, Oconee, and Walton counties. The organization's name was changed to the Rape Crisis Center of Northeast Georgia.
In 1990, the Rape Crisis Center relocated to its current location behind the Athens Clarke County Police Department.
In 1995, the Athens-Clarke County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ACC-SANE) program began a partnership with the Rape Crisis Center, to provide forensic exams on-site. Soon after, the Child Advocacy Program was added to specifically serve child victims and their families.
In 1998, the Rape Crisis Center of Northeast Georgia changed its name to the Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia, Inc. in an effort to encompass all survivors of sexual violence.
In 2005 The Family Protection Center (FPC) opened in Clarke County to provide a single location for the collaboration of many agencies that work with adult, child and elderly victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and child and elderly victims of neglect, or physical or sexual abuse. Services for victims are administered at The FPC which also provides space for ACC-SANE, Project Safe outreach offices, all Athens-Clarke County Police Department detectives investigating crimes against children, sexual assault and domestic violence along with the special victims unit of the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
In 2009, the Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia name was changed to The Cottage, Sexual Assault Center and Children's Advocacy Center to denote the agency’s full mission and to associate the organization with the little blue cottage that houses it.
Today, “The Cottage” serves Clarke, Oconee, Madison and Oglethorpe Counties. The Cottage continues to operate the 24/7 crisis hotline. In addition to providing direct services to survivors of sexual assault, The Cottage works within the community on child abuse and sexual assault education, intervention, healing and prevention efforts through trainings with communities, schools, churches and other agencies and public awareness events.
In 2018 The Cottage added on a significant addition to the little blue cottage. The addition added more office space and a large board/meeting room. A large play structure was also added.
In 2018 The Cottage added a Bilingual Advocate to the staff, along with a LGBTQ Coordinator and Sex Trafficking Coordinator.
We create a culture of inclusiveness where every voice matters and is heard.
We are committed to personal and professional accountability and ethical practices in all we do at The Cottage and as ambassadors in the community.
We provide individuals with the tools to make choices and decisions that promote their own hope and healing.
We actively engage in partnerships with agencies and communities in order to better serve our clients and meet The Cottage mission.
We believe that individual wellness is essential to a healthy community. We work to provide communities with education, awareness, and training to understand and prevent sexual assault and child abuse.