About Us

MISSION STATEMENT

To promote social change by providing services which empower battered and abused individuals and their dependent children of all abilities to achieve safe, violence-free lives; to partner with the community by providing information and education geared toward the elimination of domestic violence, the achievement of peace in relationships and establishment of a system to hold perpetrators accountable and to provide a safe work environment.

 

HISTORY

In March 1981, after discussions with clients of their agency, attorneys, and support staff, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation (SLLS) set priorities for the future.  One of these priorities was to develop a plan for providing support services, such as counseling and referral, to survivors of family violence who came to SLLS for legal assistance.  This group of SLLS attorneys and staff organized public meetings to enlist community support for their project and to identify area resources and services.  As a result of these meetings, the Tri-Parish Spouse Abuse area resources and services was formed to serve Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa Parishes.

TPSAP was incorporated as a separate entity in January 1982 and was then governed by its own board of directors.  The program continued to be staffed by SLLS employees and operated with SLLS funds.

In March 1982, the board of directors voted to include Washington Parish within its service area and changed the name of the agency to Southeast Spouse Abuse Program.

During the first years of the program, from March 1981 to January 1983, SLLS staff provided assistance to more than 300 survivors of family violence.  They laid the groundwork for Southeast Spouse Abuse Program (SSAP) by identifying the needs for services to survivors of family violence, developing cooperative relationships with other social service agencies in the area and by educating the community regarding the need for a program to help survivors of intimate partner violence.

In January 1983, the SSAP Board of Directors hired a full time counselor/advocate.  This individual was supervised by the SLLS program coordinator until June 1983, when the board hired a full time director for SSAP.  Since that time, the SSAP staff has grown to include 15 full time positions, which are also supplemented by community volunteers.

SSAP services have grown to include a 24-hour toll free crisis line, short term counseling for survivors of intimate partner violence and their dependent children, transitional housing, peer support groups, community education presentations, in-service training for professionals and para-professionals and numerous outreach locations throughout the programs four (4) parish area.

Most importantly, since its inception SSAP has served thousands of survivors of intimate partner violence and their dependent children.