About Us


The Beginning...

In 1986, a young woman was brought to Gwinnett Medical Center in metro-Atlanta after being raped and brutalized. Her injuries were extensive and severe and warranted admission into the hospital for advanced-treatment. The physician handling the case, Dr. Cora Salvino, M.D., OB-GYN, was specially trained in responding to and managing treatment for evidence collection from sexual assault victims. Dr. Salvino requested a hospital volunteer Ann Smiley, to remain with the unconscious victim until admission was completed. Following the victim's transport upstairs Ms. Smiley asked Dr. Salvino when the rape crisis counselors would respond. Dr. Salvino regrettably reported that there were no rape crisis services within Gwinnett County and the patient would have to seek support and assistance on her own after discharge from the hospital. A professional radio broadcaster and public relations expert, Ann Smiley immediately responded ...”that is simply not acceptable.” Ms. Smiley vowed to change that situation and took immediate actions over the weeks following to change the conditions, practices and standards of care for persons victimized by crimes of sexual assault. Perhaps even more demonstrative was her passion and zeal to bring about change in attitudes and behaviors within a community that keep victims silent.


Sadly, Ms. Smiley passed away in 1994, but not before leaving a legacy of respect, the highest standard of care and direct-services specifically designed to meet the unique and distinctive needs of persons victimized by sexually based offenses. The support and expertise provided by Dr. Cora Salvino coupled with the determination and focus of Ms. Ann Smiley are proof of the words spoken by Margaret Mead, “Never underestimate that a small group of committed people can bring about change, it indeed is the only thing that ever has.”


What We Do…

Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center (GSAC-CAC) provides services for victims of rape and child sexual abuse 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. We offer free crisis intervention advocacy for sexual assault victims and their families. Our services include:

  • 24-hour crisis-line
  • 24-hour forensic-medical evidentiary examination/ assessment and evidence collection
  • Crisis intervention
  • Personal/ family and legal advocacy
  • Accompaniment services for medical follow-up, interviews, and court

GSAC-CAC is one of few nationally recognized centers where sexual assault/ child sexual abuse victims and families can receive all of the services they need in one location, 24-hours a day. Since 1986, over 37,000 victims have received the expert care offered by GSAC-CAC.

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