The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) was organized in 1986 to address the issues surrounding sexual assault in North Carolina. That same year, NCCASA held its first annual retreat of local rape crisis center advocates. In 1987, the Board of Directors began to work on incorporating this member-driven agency. NCCASA was officially incorporated February 16, 1988 with advocates Mary Ann Chap, Cathy Purvis, Julie Sandine, and Dawn Wilson listed as the executive committee of the NCCASA Board of Directors.
NCCASA continued to hold its annual retreat, each year with more rape crisis center advocates in attendance. The annual retreat has since grown into the NCCASA statewide conference with over 150 participants, including rape crisis advocates, law enforcement, nurses, campus administrators and other allied professionals, in attendance.
A pivotal landmark in the early years of NCCASA was the perseverance of its members to make legislative change in North Carolina. Advocate Lisa Allred spearheaded the effort to include the marital rape law into NC General Statutes in 1989. From this point on, the NCCASA Board of Directors began to include new faces such as Margaret Henderson, Dewey Matherly and Lisa Reynolds. This group worked towards moving NCCASA from an all-volunteer board to a paid staff with an official office in Raleigh.
In 1996, Anne Fishburne became NCCASA’s first Executive Director. A state office was opened and NCCASA immediately began to hire staff and seek funding. Under Anne Fishburne’s leadership, the Coalition also sought legislative change for NCCASA members and sexual assault victims/survivors. In 1999, NCCASA proposed to the NC General Assembly to expand its funding to include more local rape crisis centers as well as, the Coalition.
NCCASA has become a powerful, statewide non-profit organization that works on behalf of its members on both a local and state level. NCCASA provides support, information, advocacy, and education for North Carolina’s rape crisis programs, college campuses, organizations, and individual members. NCCASA also remains a legislative change agent by sponsoring important pieces of legislation that affect local rape crisis programs, the Coalition, and most importantly survivors of sexual violence.