The Center for Safety & Change, Inc. (“the Center”) is a nonprofit agency whose mission is to provide critical services and support to women and all victims and survivors of gender-based violence and other crimes while working toward justice by creating social changes. imes. Since its inception in 1979, the Center has been Rockland County's sole provider of domestic violence residential and non-residential services certified by the NYS Office of Child and Family Services and Rockland's only New York State Office of Victim Services designated Victim Assistance Program. In addition, all of the Center’s staff are certified and trained by the New York State Department of Health, all 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 offers a comprehensive continuum of programs and services that are available in multiple languages to all victims, free of charge, regardless of age, citizenship, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. These services include, but are not limited to:
• Information and Referrals: information about the criminal justice process, information about victims’ rights, referrals to other victim service programs, and referrals to other services, supports, and resources;
• Advocacy and Accompaniment: victim advocacy/accompaniment to emergency medical care, victim advocacy/accompaniment forensic exams, law enforcement interview advocacy/accompaniment, individual advocacy, performance of medical forensic exam or interview, or medical evidence collection, immigration assistance, intervention with employer, creditor, landlord, or academic institution, childcare, transportation assistance, and translation/interpretation services;
• Emotional Support and Safety Services: crisis intervention, hotline/crisis line counseling, on-scene crisis response, individual counseling, support groups, therapy, and emergency financial assistance;
• Shelter and Housing Services: emergency shelter, transitional housing service, and relocation assistance; and
• Criminal and Civil Justice System Assistance: notification of criminal justice events, civil legal assistance in obtaining protection or restraining order, civil legal assistance with family law issues, immigration attorney assistance, prosecution interview advocacy/accompaniment, criminal advocacy/accompaniment, and other legal advice and/or counsel.
Over the last three months, the Center provided 8,109 services to 239 victims in the sexual trauma program. In additon, 12 SAFE exams were performed, 3 of which involved minors.
This reporting period:
- Staff worked with a 16-year-old youth who came to the Center due to being raped on several occasions by family members and acquaintances. Client shared that she crossed the border when she was 14 and went to live with family. A few months after coming to the states, she was raped by different men and was coerced to perform certain sexual acts in exchange for money to be able to support her child.ient expressed that she feels like she does not have any options because she is undocumented and is unable to get a decent job. Staff provide supportive couseling, safety planning, validation, therapy, resources in the community, and information on effects of trauma. Laslty, our legal team has been assisting client in obtaining a visa.
- The Coordinator of Intake & Support services was able to provide supportive counseling for a parent whose child was sexually molested. The perpetrator was the parent's partner, and she wanted speak to someone regarding the incident and learn how to process what happened. The Center provided supportive counseling, hotline services, education, and information around normal reactions to trauma. The client continues to receive supportive services as she works through the trauma and supports her child through their recovery process.
- Staff worked with a 15-year-old client who expressed that she was sexually assaulted by her 2 older cousins for 1 year. Client shared that she felt ashamed and guilty and was not able to disclose what had happened until recently to her sister. Client expressed feelings about how traumatic incident has affected her. Client was able to report incident to the police but is afraid of what is to come next by her perpetrators. Provided client with safety planning, support, validation, therapy, creative arts, and advocacy.
“I always felt like I was living in a dark tunnel and had no way out. The services I have received at the Center have helped me see the light at the end f the tunnel. I feel like I am finally coming out of that darkness.” - Center Client