INDIANAPOLIS - An advocacy group for victims of sexual assault closed its downtown offices and suspended operations Friday after it got into trouble over unpaid taxes.
The Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, also known as INCASA, generally doesn’t work directly with victims, but distributes grants and raises money.
INCASA is the primary advocacy and training organization for sexual assault victims and sexual assault counseling groups in Indiana. It also lobbies lawmakers to change laws on behalf of sexual assault victims.
INCASA’s financial problems were spelled out in a letter to supporters. The advocacy group hasn’t paid an unknown amount of taxes since 2012.
On Friday, INCASA’s board of directors suspended operations and laid off employees.
"We hope and believe that this is a temporary situation for INCASA. That their financial circumstances will be such that they can come back into operation in short order," said Legacy House Executive Director Michael Hurst.
Legacy House, an organization that counsels victims of violence, has offered to help other victims while INCASA sorts out its financial problems.
"It's terrifying to me right now because they get the money from the CDC to pass out to centers in the state of Indiana," INCASA volunteer Keith Morris said.
Morris, a victim of sexual assault, has worked with INCASA for the last four years.
"They do a lot of prevention work. That's something I'll never be able to measure and they'll never be able to measure. If I can prevent another child from going through what I went through, that's my goal and that was INCASA's goal," Morris said.
INCASA’s director recently left the group, but it was unclear if it was related to the organization’s tax problems.