About CAAP

Aiken - Allendale - Barnwell - Edgefield - McCormick - Saluda

This is our Mission.

To support and empower domestic violence and sexual violence victims and their families by providing services, reducing the tolerance of abuse, and advocating for social change. 

We've helped thousands of survivors navigate difficult situations. Our compassionate staff has the experience necessary to match you with exactly what is needed for your unique circumstances.

All of our services are completely free, strictly confidential, and clients' safety is always our first priority.

This is our Mission.

To support and empower domestic violence and sexual violence victims and their families by providing services, reducing the tolerance of abuse, and advocating for social change. 

Above all else, We're here for you.

We've helped thousands of survivors navigate difficult situations. Our compassionate staff has the experience necessary to match you with exactly what is needed for your unique circumstances.

All of our services are completely free, strictly confidential, and clients' safety is always our first priority.

These are the Results

Over the past three years alone, we have:

  • Served over 2,200 victims
  • Provided roughly 10,000 nights of safety for families fleeing abusive situations
  • Championed progression in counseling for 516 new individuals

Our Story

1979

Originally named the Coalition to Assist Abused Persons, CAAP was established in 1979 by Dan Barton, a local minister and his wife, Melanie Barton, to assist victims of domestic violence.

1984

CAAP opened its first emergency shelter for battered women and their children to shelter domestic violence victims of Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties.

CAAP also started a sexual assault program to serve as the rape crisis center for Aiken County. A satellite office was opened in Edgefield to assist victims of sexual assault in Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties. 

1995

CAAP changed its official name to the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons, Inc. 

The name was updated in honor of longtime, dedicated board member and volunteer, John Cumbee. Until his unexpected death in 1994, Mr. Cumbee assisted the Cumbee Center for several years with everything from budget matters to painting.

2017

CAAP increased its capacity to serve by moving into a larger office.

With an intentional focus on awareness of violence issues and the free, confidential services offered, CAAP has experienced an increase in demand for these services the past few years. As a result, it has expanded its capacity to serve additional clients by moving into a larger office in December 2017. This office located at 254 Beaufort Street, NE in Aiken is outfitted with more confidential office spaces as well as a large conference room for educational workshops, community collaborations, and staff development. CAAP is delighted to have space for new staff that were needed as well as room for future growth. 

TODAY

Continuous improvement of all services. 

With generous donations from our friends and partners, CAAP has made significant improvements to its emergency shelter which serves women and children who are fleeing abuse. After a year of intense training for all staff in trauma-informed care, it is initiating changes in all aspects of the agency, including renovations to make our client spaces more inviting, additional training that allows staff to view clients through the lens of the trauma they have experienced, and incorporating survivor stories and feedback into how it shapes its policies and protocols. The Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers continue to ensure that the agency follows best practices in carrying out its mission of serving survivors.

Our Story

1979

Originally named the Coalition to Assist Abused Persons, CAAP was established in 1979 by Dan Barton, a local minister and his wife, Melanie Barton, to assist victims of domestic violence.

CAAP opened its first emergency shelter for battered women and their children to shelter domestic violence victims of Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties.

CAAP also started a sexual assault program to serve as the rape crisis center for Aiken County. A satellite office was opened in Edgefield to assist victims of sexual assault in Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties. 

1984

1995

CAAP changed its official name to the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons, Inc. 

The name was updated in honor of longtime, dedicated board member and volunteer, John Cumbee. Until his unexpected death in 1994, Mr. Cumbee assisted the Cumbee Center for several years with everything from budget matters to painting.

CAAP increased its capacity to serve by moving into a larger office.

With an intentional focus on awareness of violence issues and the free, confidential services offered, CAAP has experienced an increase in demand for these services the past few years. As a result, it has expanded its capacity to serve additional clients by moving into a larger office in December 2017. This office located at 254 Beaufort Street, NE in Aiken is outfitted with more confidential office spaces as well as a large conference room for educational workshops, community collaborations, and staff development. CAAP is delighted to have space for new staff that were needed as well as room for future growth. 

2017

TODAY

Continuous improvement of all services. 

With generous donations from our friends and partners, CAAP has made significant improvements to its emergency shelter which serves women and children who are fleeing abuse. After a year of intense training for all staff in trauma-informed care, it is initiating changes in all aspects of the agency, including renovations to make our client spaces more inviting, additional training that allows staff to view clients through the lens of the trauma they have experienced, and incorporating survivor stories and feedback into how it shapes its policies and protocols. The Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers continue to ensure that the agency follows best practices in carrying out its mission of serving survivors.

Board of Directors

Jessica Coach

Executive Director

Jessica Coach has an extensive tenure with Cumbee Center. Prior to being selected for Executive Director in 2019 she was the Director of Programs. 

Dr. Allison Hamilton

Board Chair

Director of Operations at Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. Served on the Board of Directors as Secretary in 2018 and 2019, and is the Board Chair for 2020.

Dr. Phillip Mason

Board Secretary

Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina Aiken, where he was awarded the 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award. He has been on the Cumbee Center Board since 2018. In 2020, he will serve as Secretary.

Dennis Gmerek

Treasurer

Managing Attorney for County Legal Operations at South Carolina Department of Social Services. He has served in many varying Cumbee Center board capacities over the years. Most recently, in 2020, Dennis is the Treasurer.

Dr. Elizabeth Georgian

Board Member

Department Chair of History, Political Science, and Philosophy at the University of South Carolina Aiken, where she is also an Associate Professor of History. Dr. Georgian joined the Cumbee Center Board of Directors in 2020.

Dannette Rowe

Board Member

CEO of Aurora Pavilion. She joined the Cumbee Center Board in 2020.

Paul Hunt

Board Member

Senior Vice President of Environmental Management Operations at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. He joined the Board of Directors in 2020.

Board Member

Joyce Hopperton

Board Member

Safety and Quality Assurance Director at Savannah River Site. She joined the Board of Directors in 2020.

Eric Kirkland

Board Member

 Sergeant with the Barnwell County Sherriff’s Office. He joined the Cumbee Center Board in 2020.

Jack Hammack

Board Member

Assistant Solicitor with the Second Judicial Circuit. He joined the board in 2020.