The agency was started in 1984 when Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services separated to better focus on the specific needs of their client families. As a result of this separation, Regional Domestic Abuse Services (RDAS) obtained funding from Winnebago County Social Services and the Bergstrom Foundation to hire staff and set up programming, including shelter services.
On September 13, 1984, RDAS opened public offices at the Neenah/Menasha YMCA and on September 16, 1984, opened a public shelter located at Park View Health Center in Winnebago, WI capable of housing 13 women and children.
Over the years RDAS continued growing to meet the needs of the community. In July 1987, a Children's Program was added to serve children coming into shelter and children in the community who were growing up in family violence.
In April 1989, Wisconsin passed a Mandated Arrest Law. The increase of perpetrators, mandated and volunteering for treatment, necessitate the hiring of a Perpetrator Program Coordinator in January 1989. Through this coordinator a treatment program for perpetrators has been implemented.
Stand-Alone Shelter Opens
In May of 1991 the shelter was moved into the current location on Algoma Blvd. in Oshkosh.
In 1991 a Capital Campaign was kicked off to purchase the 206 Algoma Blvd. property in Oshkosh to serve as a shelter. The need for more space as well as accessibility to county services precipitated this campaign. On May 30 the shelter was physically moved from Park View Health Care to 206 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh. On July 11, 1991 the shelter was renamed the Christine Ann Center, in memory of Christine Ann Schambow, who was murdered by her husband.
In 1992 we opened an outreach program in Berlin to better serve the needs of Green Lake County families.
In February 1995 a Prevention Specialist was hired to address family violence issues and develop curriculums for the school systems in Winnebago and Green Lake counties for grades K-12.
In 1995 we also purchased the property next to the Christine Ann Center which became an addition to the shelter to improve and maintain services to families affected by violence.
In 1996 RDAS succeeded in raising $1.3 million during the capital campaign and added on office area, group rooms, a board room, and indoor playroom in the basement. Handicap bedrooms were also added to the first floor of the shelter and an additional 10 beds and 2 cribs to the Carriage House.
In 1997 the addition to the Christine Ann Center was completed, an open house was held in May that year to show off the new quarters.
Over the years, the agency expanded its programs and services to meet the increasingly complex needs of domestic violence victims, as well as its geographic reach to include rural Green Lake County. It also expanded to include community education and prevention programs. Agency services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services are provided free of charge.