ABOUT

Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides confidential counseling and support services to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones.

STESA is committed to empowering survivors and eliminating all forms of sexual violence in our community. Through education and awareness, STESA aims to change the cultural norms that enable sexual assault to proliferate. Our service area extends from Carpinteria to the Santa Ynez Valley, with our office located in downtown Santa Barbara.

HISTORY

Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA), formerly Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, was founded in 1974 by Muff Bizwell, Nora Hochman, and Barbara Lindemann who identified a critical need in the community and decided to take action. These three women established Santa Barbara’s first-ever crisis hotline to address sexual assault. A small operation, it was run out of Muff’s garage, and staffed by a handful of volunteers.

Over the years, the organization grew and expanded its services. In addition to the 24-hour hotline, in-person counseling, self-defense classes, and community education programming was provided. Since its inception, the organization has served thousands of survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones.

In 2018, Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center became Standing Together to End Sexual Assault. This change was in response to community feedback, and based on the desire to more accurately represent the scope of services offered by the organization. STESA is more than a crisis center, it is an agent of community change. We invite you to stand with us!

MISSION STATEMENT

Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) empowers people through healing and social change to eliminate all forms of sexual violence. We are committed to transforming lives by providing services and education to meet the needs of our diverse community.

VISION STATEMENT

Create a community free from all forms of sexual violence.

CORE VALUES

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STESA will ensure the highest quality of service and program delivery by creating and utilizing best practices and continuing to develop our expertise.

COMPETENCE

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We will conduct our work to meet the needs of all members of our community.  We will design and implement our programs and services to promote positive social change by deliberately addressing the intersections of sexual violence and all other forms of oppression.

DIVERSITY

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We will treat everyone with the utmost professionalism and respect and maintain the highest standards of ethics and confidentiality.

INTEGRITY

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STESA will respect the rights and dignity of others.

RESPECT

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STESA is committed to generating positive change and approaches sexual violence in a comprehensive and empowering manner. STESA is sensitive to the needs of survivors and their significant others.

SERVICE

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT

The philosophy is the foundation for STESA’s programs and services:

Intersectionality
Sexual assault is a direct result of systemic injustice. Any efforts to eliminate sexual assault must address the role of various, overlapping forms of oppression in creating the cultural norms that enable sexual assault to proliferate, and that prevent survivors from receiving the support they need. These intersecting oppressions include sexism, racism, heterosexism, ageism, classism, and ableism.

Empowerment
Sexual assault takes power and control of an individual’s body away from them. An important part of a survivor’s healing process is reestablishing control over their lives. We believe that it is critical that this be reflected in our counseling style and the services we provide. Our advocates are trained to provide accurate, unbiased information and options, encouraging the survivor to make decisions for themselves. We are committed to empowering survivors to heal on their own terms.

Norms Change
To view the high incidence of sexual assault in our country as a series of isolated incidents is to ignore the larger problem of norms in our society. We live in a culture that stigmatizes survivors, and excuses the behavior of perpetrators. This needs to change. We must be proactive and address sexual assault before it happens. STESA is working to change norms in our community by raising awareness of this issue, providing prevention education, and advocating for legislation that will benefit survivors.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Frank Quezada

Frank Quezada

President
April Howard

April Howard

Vice President
Evgeniya Kataria

Evgeniya Kataria

Treasurer
Patricia Guillen

Patricia Guillen

Secretary
Sarah Ali Khan

Sarah Ali Khan

Board Member
Jacqueline Duran

Jacqueline Duran

Board Member
Cameron Goodman

Cameron Goodman

Board Member
Adrian Gutierrez

Adrian Gutierrez

Board Member
John Kennedy

John Kennedy

Board Member
Marina Santos

Marina Santos

Board Member
Lindsay Walker

Lindsay Walker

Board Member
Carol Wesolowski

Carol Wesolowski

Board Member