Quick Exit

The majority of domestic and sexual violence programs, laws and public policies benefitting survivors today were started and developed with help from MCADSV. MCADSV has been addressing domestic and sexual violence in Missouri for more than 35 years.

In 1976, the first domestic violence shelter opened its doors in Missouri. Three years later, the Missouri Adult Abuse Remedies Law was passed, which created the first legal protections for domestic violence victims and required that law enforcement officers respond to domestic violence crimes in the same way as to crimes between other persons. An informal group of advocates created the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence (MCADV) to formalize the relationships established when they gained passage of the Missouri Adult Abuse Remedies Law. MCADV began as a network of individuals and organizations “concerned with domestic violence and the abuse of women.”

MCADV officially became incorporated on August 18, 1981, as a non-profit membership organization comprised of community-based domestic violence programs throughout Missouri. Since then, the number of member programs has grown from a handful to 124, representing more than 20,000 advocates and volunteers across the state. These member programs represent almost all of the domestic violence and sexual assault victim services providers in Missouri, as well as law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts and other allied victim service professionals.

In December 2005, the MCADSV Board of Directors voted unanimously to expand the Coalition’s mission and membership to address both sexual and domestic violence, stalking and dating violence. On April 3, 2006, this mission expansion was formalized through Bylaws changes to include sexual assault in the organization’s mission.

MCADSV is currently Missouri’s sole provider of domestic and sexual violence technical assistance and education. Domestic and sexual violence service providers, operating with limited budgets, rely heavily on the no-cost expertise of training from MCADSV. With the purchase of its building in 2010, MCADSV was able to open a training center to host project workgroups, statewide trainings and coordination meetings. This centralized location has allowed MCADSV to offer more statewide training events for its members. MCADSV also continued its Directors Academy series, which focuses on specific skill-building in the areas of administration and management, finance, communications, service provision best practices, and fund development for new directors of victim service programs.

MCADSV remains the only organization in Missouri that collects data and information on all of the services provided by domestic and sexual violence programs. These Monthly Services Reports—collected on domestic violence since the early 1980s and sexual assault since 2008—provide information on the services sought and provided each month by community based programs to women, children, and men who are victimized by domestic and sexual violence.

MCADSV is recognized nationally and internationally for its innovation in tackling the chronic questions and problems faced by local advocates in providing services to survivors. MCASDV’s Shelter Rules Project has been replicated from South Dakota to South Africa, as well as being highlighted in several international conferences.

Since its beginning, MCADSV has worked to ensure advocates and allied professionals have the tools and resources they need to change lives. MCADSV fosters a sense of pride in being part of something significant and constructive. MCADSV continues to unite Missourians to be a part of positive social change, with the knowledge that no one has to confront, manage or cope with violence alone.