Founded in 1984, Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council (APC) began serving victims of domestic violence through the commitment of 6 local volunteers who provided crisis response and transportation for victims to safe, out-of-county shelters.  By 1985 the volunteers had requested and received funding to hire an Executive Director, purchase a residential shelter, and start a crisis hotline.

In 1994 APC opened a designated office at the Cleveland County courthouse to provide court advocacy services   In 1997 APC was able to expand services to victims of domestic and sexual violence through  hiring a Licensed Professional Counselor to provide in-house counseling for all victims.  In 1999 APC further expanded to offer non-shelter crisis services 24-hours a day on-site at Cleveland County medical facilities through its Crisis Companion Program.

In January of 2000 APC took over the management responsibilities of the local men and women’s homeless shelters that otherwise would have ceased operations.   In 2010 APC transferred responsibility for men’s homeless services over to the Interfaith Alliance and renewed its focus on serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homeless women and children.

In 2013 APC began the Building Hope campaign to build a new facility to provide safe shelter and services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and homeless women and children in one location. In 2018 the Doris Spangler Dedmon Abuse Prevention Center was completed in Shelby, NC!

Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council’s mission is to serve as a bridge between being a victim to becoming a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness displacement through the provision of safe shelter, advocacy, support services, and preventive education.