Executive Director's Message

We at Canyon Creek have been growing and changing over the past few years in some very exciting and important ways and we’re happy and anxious to help the community have a better understanding of who we are, where we’re heading, and all the services we provide.

Canyon Creek is nearly 22 years old and has a powerful legacy involving many amazing individuals and organizations that have sacrificed and built the organization into what it is today and what it will become. Canyon Creek has typically been identified as n emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. While that was true in our early years, we have become much more than that and have seen significant expansion in our services and activities over the past few years. Our organization provides free and strictly confidential services to any victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Our name may be a bit misleading since we offer our services to any victim, regardless of age, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on, whether they are in current crisis or seeking other support and guidance. Our current services include 24 hour crisis intervention, a 24 hour hotline, mobile advocate response, sexual assault hospital response, emotional support and advocacy, legal advocacy, medical advocacy, systems advocacy, housing assistance, emergency shelter, support groups, classes, case management, programming, and other life-situation support and advocacy with the goal of helping survivors achieve emotional healing and financial independence. CCWCC is also providing and expanding sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and education programming, presentations, and materials to individuals, groups, and organizations throughout our service area.

Because all our services are offered completely free of charge, we generate zero income as an organization. We are entirely reliant on government grants, private foundations, and the generosity of individual donors to keep our doors open and our services functioning. We also work to establish and maintain partnerships with organizations with related purposes in our area, such as the Care and Share, the Family Support Center, the Children’s Justice Center, the Paiute Tribe, law enforcement agencies, and others.

Because most of the survivors who access our services are not in shelter, many of our services are offered through our main offices located on Main Street above Bulloch Drug in Cedar City. Each individual who accesses our services is assigned to their own Victim Advocate who will work with them for as long as is necessary: days, months, or years. We are rapidly expanding and deepening our services, especially our sexual assault services. At the same time we are working to innovate the shelter experience for those who access that service by offering classes and groups related to parenting, tutoring and reading for children, cooking, assertiveness, finances, and so on. Of course, the ongoing challenge we face is the difficulty in obtaining the funding necessary to address the pressing and urgent need to expand and reach more survivors.

Utah has relatively few community-based service providers like CCWCC, there are only 13 statewide, and because approximately 85 percent of all victims never see any legal case or proceedings, we are tasked with providing and serving the majority of victims with services that are available to them nowhere else. In fact, our service area includes the entirety of Iron, Beaver, and Garfield Counties. As you can imagine, we have much to do to increase our presence and our ability to provide services throughout this vast area. Increasing prevention and education work is crucial. We believe prevention and education is the key in reaching our goal to put ourselves out of business.

Last year Canyon Creek served 821 clients, 220 of which were in shelter, and over 60% of which were victims of both sexual assault and domestic violence. 271 of those we served last year were children. So, what can each of you do? You can start by believing anyone who claims they are or were a victim of this violence. Statistics bear out that only about 3 in every 1,000 of those who report being victimized are making a false report, and the number may be smaller than that due to pressure on victims to recant their stories. You can make sure that you never blame victims for what happened to them or allow anyone else to do so. The questions we should be asking are not “what were you wearing,” “why do you stay with him or make him angry,” or “why didn’t you do more to protect yourself?” The questions we should be asking are “why do they rape,” “why do they abuse,” and “how can we as a community free ourselves from the effects of this violence?” Sexual assault and domestic abuse are crimes committed by the perpetrators. They, along with social attitudes, beliefs and cultures, are what cause this violence.

Canyon Creek is deeply grateful to be a part of the Cedar City community. The generosity and goodness of the people here is incredible. This is one of the primary reasons we maintain firm hope in our vision of creating communities free of domestic violence and sexual assault. Thank you.

Dr. Brant Wadsworth, Executive Director