The Center for Safety & Change, Inc. (“the Center”) is a nonprofit agency whose mission is to develop strategies to end gender-based violence and provide shelter and supportive services that empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse and other crimes. Since its inception in 1979, the Center has been the sole provider of domestic violence residential and non-residential services certified by the NYS Office of Child and Family Services and the only New York State Office of Victim Services designated Victim Assistance Program in Rockland County. In addition, all of the Center’s sexual trauma staff are certified and trained by the New York State Department of Health, all direct service staff and volunteers are certified rape crisis counselors, and, within the last decade, the Center became the sole provider of services to victims of human trafficking. The Center's Special Victims Program includes a 24-hour rape crisis hotline, accompaniment to court and other appointments, legal services, trial preparation, counseling and therapy, a 15-bed emergency residential shelter, services for families of survivors, support groups, translation, transportation, and a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner program at both of Rockland’s acute care hospitals.
Over the last three months (May-July 2018) the Center provided a total of 5,835 services to 215 sexual trauma victims/survivors. The Center's Special Victims Adovcate reported: We meet new clients almost every day. I had met my client as a follow-up call from the hospital. She was very scared about the whole process. I discussed all the different services that we provide, helped her receive all the medication that was needed after her assault, provided supportive counseling. Our department has been able to help her with DSS and housing. We have also helped her on her job hunt. She sees me once a week and is always telling me how thankful she is and how we really support her in everything she does.
The Center's Coordinator of Anti-Trafficking Services reported: This past quarter, I worked with a youth who was referred to the Safe Harbour program. This youth was adopted at a very young age, was victimized and sexually abused. She did not trust anyone, and did not want any services. In the begginig, she was very apprehensive and not talking at all. Engaging this youth took about two months; we did creative therapies like going for walks, playing cards and even providing the family multiple options for session times during the week to ensure she would make it to session. She was provided school advocacy, family advocacy, and therapy. Currently, the client is engaged and has even made her own therapy goals.
The Center often receives feedback from clients during their recovery process as well as when they have finished utilizing the Center’s services:
• “I just wanted to let you know I have an interview tomorrow !”
• “I just wanna tell you, thank you for being there for me. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have someone like you to talk to.”
• “We love you! You’re Family!”
• “Very thankful and grateful for all your agency has done for us!”
• “You are my hero”
• “We could not have done this without you”
• “Thank you for walking me through this legal process, you have been a blessing”.
•“Thank God for you. You are an angel for my family!
• “I am not sure what I would have done if it weren’t for all of your help and patience with me”
• “I didn’t know your agency existed, but I am happy to know of all the services you provide. It will certainly be helpful”.
• “Thank you for picking up the phone in the middle of the night”
• “Thank you for being honest with me.”