The idea of an Ottawa-area service for sexual assault victims originated with a small group of women in 1974. They discovered that there was no organization that helped women deal with these experiences. At that time in Canada, Rape Crisis Centres existed in Vancouver and Toronto.  In Ottawa, support was solicited from police departments, hospitals, psychiatric clinics and community groups leading to the installation of a 24-hour crisis line at the Ottawa Women’s Centre. The ORCC officially opened on December 15th, 1974.

In 1976 the staff at the ORCC included four full-time staff members and 40 volunteers. Today the staff at the ORCC consists of three full-time and eight part-time staff members, as well as various project staff. There are around fifty volunteers that work on the 24 - hour crisis line, provide public education activities and sit on our Board. The staff and volunteers also act as liaisons with the police, hospitals, lawyers and other social service resources.