The Sexual Assault Support & Help for Americans Abroad Program, SASHAA, has launched a new
resource to assist American citizens and legal permanent residents who are sexually assaulted in a
foreign country while taking a holiday overseas.
Over 80 million Americans travel overseas every year. The Sexual Assault Support & Help for Americans
Abroad program, SASHAA, was created to ensure Americans victimized in a foreign country have
immediate access to services no matter where they are in the world.
SASHAA case managers provide an informed, compassionate response, as well as advocacy and
assistance navigating medical, law enforcement and legal options. This support is continued long term,
including counseling and other services. The program can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
from overseas by calling an international toll free hotline, 866-USWOMEN, via the AT&T Direct Access
code for each country. Instructions can be found on the SASHAA website, www.sashaa.org. Other
forms of communication include a live chat feature on the SASHAA website, and a crisis email:
If the caller is more comfortable communicating in a foreign language, SASHAA advocates and
case managers have access to a language bank.
SASHAA is a program of the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center. AODVC,
www.866uswomen.org was founded in 1999 to assist American victims of domestic violence overseas
by Paula Lucas. Paula lived overseas for 14 years, escaping back to the USA with her three sons to
flee domestic violence and child abuse. She founded the program based on what she had wished had
been available to herself and her children.
In 2010 AODVC began serving American sexual assault victims organically. "Funding from the US
Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime, enabled us to formally establish the SASHAA
program," Paula Lucas, Founder & Executive Director, explains. "We know that statistically, only
a small portion of American sexual assault victims overseas reach out for help. With our confidential,
24/7 program, we hope more victims will reach out for assistance during the worst experience of their
lives." SASHAA is also a resource for study abroad programs, Americans teaching English overseas,
employees traveling overseas for work, and so on.
SASHAA also operates an email aimed at prevention: Knowb4ugo@866uswomen.org
Prior to departing overseas, travelers can email the knowb4ugo email and get information about the
country they are traveling to including how to reach SASHAA from overseas.