Jan 15, 2019

Two Young Sexual Assault Victims Receive Services at the Center

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, the Center provided a total of 6,102 services to 212 victims in the Special Victims Program. This quarter:

  • One of the Center's Bilingual Advocates provided services to a young girl who had been sexually assalted by her step-father. When the mother learned of the abuse, she had no idea how to handle the trauma the family and her daughter endured, how to speak to her daughter about it, and how to explain why the father was no longer present in the home. The perpetrator is now currently incarcerated, and the young girl has been receiving supportive counseling. The young girl is not currently ready to talk about the trauma and engage in therapy. The Center has helped the mother file for custody of both daughters, accompanies the family to court, providese transportation to and from court, and explains the family court proceedings. 
  • A 9 yo girl who was referred to the Center due to sexual abuse, but she had retracted her story during the investigation and did not want to talk about what happened. Because she retracted her story, the family was able to reunite with the perpetrator. The non-offending parent requested counseling services for the child duebecause she wanted the child to talk to professionals, with the hope she would talk about what had occurred. She began receiving services and staff continued to safety plan and develop a relationship with the child. Initially, she was quiet and often would not talk about anything. She would end each session requesting wanting to return the following week. She asked to play music during sessions because as she said that music was something that made her feel better. Throughout the therapy process she would refer to herself as ugly and stupid and continued to look for approval and acceptance from staff. The staff continued to reflect her strengths and abilities in sessions. The child disclosed the sexual abuse to staff following an incident in which the perpetrator had called her names. A report was made to the State Central Registry and the advocate from the Special Victim Center provided support while the child went through the interview process. The Center also worked with the child's mother in order to help understand why children retract their stories and how to provide support so that child can recover from the trauma. The child was granted an order of protection and will continue therapy services at the Center.
Oct 23, 2018

The Center 's Special Victims Program provides over 6,500 services to 220 victims

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, the Center provided a total of 6,726 services to 220 victims in the Special Victims Program.

This quarter:
The Center's Director of Children, Youth, & Counseling Services reports:
1) A woman and her child were referred to the Center following an incident where the child reported a sex abuse allegation against the father. The parent was referred by a community agency and requested to meet with Center staff due to concerns about the child and ways parent could assist child. The parent had already filed a vacate order of protection and hired an attorney to assist with divorce. This child is currently receiving counseling services.

2) A 10 year old girl had been receiving therapy services due to sexual abuse. She was reluctant to talk about what had occurred and did not want to process feelings about the abuse. The staff continued to provide support, establish a relationship with the child, and engage the child in art interventions. She began opening up about the incident and feelings of embarrassment about what happened. The child recently discussed how coming to the Center is a safe place and feels comfortable processing her feelings and thoughts about the abuse.

The Center's Coordinator of Anti-Traffcking Services reports: A sustainable program is nothing without education, training and relationship building with different service providers. The working relationships between the Center and various Rockland County high schools proves how vital it is to have community members well trained and knowledgeable of the existance of human trafficking as well as the services we offer.  This past quarter, one of the local high schools completed the Office of Children and Family Services trafficking check list and referred a 15 year old to the Center for services.  The client is a survivor of sexual assault and trafficking. This client continues to receive counseling sevices and attends support group.

Jul 31, 2018

The Center for Safety & Change serves 215 Sexual Trauma Victims

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.”

 
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