Mission and Vision
Guiding Principles for Buncombe County's Anti-Sexual Violence and Anti-Human Trafficking Agency
To inspire hope and healing while ending sexual violence and human trafficking through education, counseling, and advocacy.
Our VOICE, Inc. is a non-profit crisis intervention and prevention agency which serves victims of sexual violence, age 13 through adult, in Buncombe County.
The agency was founded in 1974 as an all-volunteer, grassroots organization. The agency remained underground until August 1983 when it received 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit agency and the first employee was hired. Now, more than 45 years and considerable growth later, Our VOICE employs 21 paid staff working both to support the healing of survivors and to prevent future acts of sexual violence.
Our VOICE takes an intersectional, person-centered approach to support survivors and prevent future acts of sexual violence. We hold ourselves accountable to these core values:
- Believe all survivors. We advocate for the health, safety, and happiness of everyone impacted by sexual violence. Our programs are open to people of all genders, sexual orientations, racial identities, socioeconomic statuses, and abilities. All reports are taken seriously.
- Promote dignity. We honor the inherent dignity and worth of all people and believe that everyone has a right to healing, wholeness, and a life free of sexual violence.
- Support individual agency. Survivors choose their own path to healing. We provide them with information in a compassionate way without reservation or judgment.
- Shift paradigms. Sexual violence is a societal problem linked to many forms of oppression. Working alongside community partners who align with our values, we will remain at the forefront of advocating for societal change.
- Create a culture of care and honesty. Compassion and respect guide our relationships with each other and with community members. We foster a culture of open, direct, and caring communication.
Core Beliefs of Our VOICE:
1. We believe that all people deserve personal safety regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Our programming stems from this belief, and seeks to promote open communication and informed choice.
2. People who experience sexual violence are not to blame. Only perpetrators are to blame.
3. We believe that with access to information and support, clients can explore options and make their own decisions. All reports are taken seriously and responded to.
4. All information received from clients is strictly confidential (except in cases of child abuse or neglect, or when clients are a danger to self or others).
5. We recognize sexual violence as a widespread public health threat with historical and cultural origins, rather than the isolated problem of a small margin of people. Sexual violence is one aspect of gender-based oppression, inextricably linked to other forms of oppression.
6. We believe that healing is possible – both on an individual and cultural level.
7. We believe that most people, regardless of gender or background, see sexual violence and sexual harassment as wrong. It is our goal to unite across boundaries to address this problem together. We reject thinking that says rape is a woman’s issue, or that denigrates men as the enemy.
Our VOICE recognizes the difficulty many people have in reporting sexual violence. We also acknowledge the traumatic nature of sexual violence and the need for providing support and information to the victims of these crimes. The primary goal of our direct services is to assist the survivor in regaining a sense of control over their life.
- 24-hour crisis line
- case management
- individual and group counseling
- accompaniment to medical services, law enforcement interviews and court proceedings
- information and referrals
Our VOICE brings programming to diverse groups throughout the county to raise awareness, address the root causes of sexual violence, advocate for positive social change, and empower individuals.
- community education programs focusing on awareness and prevention for all age groups
- in-service training for professionals
- inter-agency collaborations
- conference speakers
- consultant services
Please contact us for information on how to view agency documents open for public inspection.