The Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program was founded as a program of the Ohio University Women’s Center in August 2013 to serve survivors in both Meigs and Perry counties. In December 2013, Athens County was added to SAOP’s service area, and in October 2015, SAOP expanded service to Gallia, Hocking, Morgan, and Vinton counties. Seeing the additional need in the region, SAOP added Jackson and Lawerence to their service area in 2021.
In October 2016, SAOP separated from Ohio University and became a program of the Edna Brooks Foundation, Inc. while working toward obtaining independent tax-exempt status (which was awarded in April 2017). On December 1st, 2016, SAOP staff opened the main office location at 77 E. State St. in Athens. It remained in that space until the organization decided to relocate from Athens proper to a community more reflective of other communities in SAOP’s service area.
In February 2020, SAOP purchased a building at 55 W Washington St. Nelsonville and moved its main office there in May 2021 after restoring the building. Since then, SAOP has opened branch office locations in five of the nine counties served, started an emergency housing program, and launched New Leaf Justice Enteprises- a long-term holistic primary and secondary prevention program for individuals/families impacted by trauma and substance misuse.
SAOP empowers the community and all survivors to live free of sexual violence, domestic violence, human trafficking, and stalking.
A world where everyone has the support to live a safe life free of violence.
We use an empowerment model of service when working with survivors. Survivors know their stories best - because of this, we strive to empower them to make the choices they see as being important on their path towards justice and healing. This value also extends to our awareness and prevention work as we strive to empower individuals and communities to have healthy relationships, recognize unhealthy relational patterns, and prevent sexual and relational violence before it occurs.
Individuals who experience interpersonal violence do not exist in a vacuum. Rather, survivors are situated in relationships and communities. As such, we also value community and recognize how a supportive community, or lack thereof, can affect a survivors healing and/or create environments that support interpersonal violence. We are dedicated to fostering communities that not only support survivors after abuse but also promote positive healthy relationships, communities and families that are free of violence.
Through our work with survivors, we are entrusted with extremely personal and sensitive information. Because of this, we operate under stringent practices to keep such information secure and confidential on behalf of our clients.