Our Story...


ADV & SAS was founded in the late 1970s by two Streator women, who realized there were many women living in dangerous situations in their own homes with no safe place to go. These two women opened their doors, their hearts and their pocketbooks to help those women in need. They also asked friends and family members for support and help in finding safe places for the victims of domestic violence to stay.


They created a new organization called First Step, even though there were no public funds available to work with domestic violence issues that first year. In the late 1970s, the phrase "domestic violence" was only rarely used, if at all, and violence in the home was still considered a private or family matter.


In 1979, First Step applied for funds from the LaSalle County 708 Board and were granted funding. The 708 Board was also instrumental in purchasing LaSalle County's first domestic violence shelter. At this time, the agency took the name Against Domestic Violence (ADV). The first shelter was cramped and over-crowded, but women and children still came seeking a safe place to stay. There was little staff training, and no established guidelines, protocols or procedures. Nevertheless, Streator was on the leading edge of a national grassroots movement and one of the earliest shelters established in Illinois.


In 1987, we hired our first legal advocate, allowing us to increase the amount of services to victims who chose to access the civil legal system for an order of protection.


In 1994, ADV expanded services to include support for survivors of sexual assault. Until that time, there had been no services for adult survivors of sexual assault in LaSalle or Livingston counties beyond minimal services for children. With the addition of sexual assault services, ADV became ADV & SAS, A Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Service. ADV & SAS determined that to best meet the needs of those we serve, outreach offices were needed. Prevention Education programs were also started in area school districts at this time. There was a need for services that were accessible to those throughout our service area. As there is no public transportation in LaSalle or Livingston County, ADV & SAS opened outreach offices in Pontiac, Ottawa, and Streator.


Today, we are proud to provide a 24 hour crisis line, emergency shelter, medical and legal advocacy, and supportive counseling to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as prevention education for youth and adults across LaSalle and Livingston counties.



You can help ADV & SAS by sending monetary donations or items from our wish list. For more information click here.





Click below to download our Wish List and Volunteer Form.

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