In 1971, a group of Lexington women who had been meeting and discussing various women’s issues for some time filed for private nonprofit status and organized themselves into the Women’s Center of Lexington, Kentucky.
Almost immediately they established a task force to determine the level of rape in the area, the ways in which Fayette County agencies responded to rape, and the area’s need for a specific program of services for rape victims. Finding that victim needs were going largely unaddressed and that no coordinated system of services existed, the task force initiated the city’s first rape crisis program.
For the first 18 months of its existence, BRCC consisted of a volunteer crisis line supported by the membership dues of 10 to 15 women operating under the auspices of the Lexington Women’s Center. In September 1974, the program formed its own board of directors and incorporated separately from the Women’s Center as a new private nonprofit organization.
In March 1977, BRCC received its first outside funds in the form of a 3-year nonrenewable grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. By 1998, the BRCC expanded from one office serving the 17 counties of the Bluegrass Area Development District to eight offices in Lexington, Frankfort, Cynthiana, Danville, Winchester, Georgetown, Nicholasville, and Richmond (Cynthiana office was closed in 2012).
BRCC’s overall operating budget of approximately $1.1 million comes from city/county government, state block prevention grant, federal grants, United Way, and private donations.