Support rape victims ages 4 to 71 years old

by Center for Safety & Change
Support rape victims ages 4 to 71 years old

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

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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 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 9,404 services to 222 victims in the sexual trauma program. 

 This reporting period: 

 

  • A 13 yo girl was referred to the Center after she was inappropriately touched by ehr mother’s boyfriend. The parent filed for an order of protection and provided support to the child. The child began receiving services because the parent was concerned that the child appeared sad and had stopped doing activities she had enjoyed. The Center provided the young girl with a safe place to process what happened and regain a sense of herself and who she is versus what happened to her. The child was able to re-engage in activities with peers and felt supported by her family.
  • The Center worked with a 16 year old who disclosed that she was sexually abused for 4 years by her mother’s partner. She expressed that she was threatened to keep silent and was bribed with expensive gifts to keep silent. Client expressed that after she had learned that her cousin had the similar experience and came forward, she felt like she had to disclose to someone. Client expressed that it was not easy to tell her story, but that the support from her mother and some family members made it easier for her to work towards healing. Client has been attending weekly in-person sessions to continue to process past trauma. Client was provided with supportive counseling services, advocacy, legal services, information on safety planning, consent, coping skills, and effects of trauma.   

  • The weekly Sexual Trauma Support Group continues to be a safe space for survivors to consistently receive support and provide support to each other. During a recent group meeting, one survivor shared that when she first attended the ST group, over a year ago, she was very nervous and couldn’t imagine ever sharing her story or making herself vulnerable with this group. For the group facilitators, this is hard to imagine. Now, when this member comes to group, she is a leader. She shares her own story, struggles, and journey, while offering thoughtful support to other survivors. 

     

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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 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 6,434 services to 211 victims in the sexual trauma program. 

 This reporting period: 

  • The Center provided 8 sexual assault forensic examinations, three of which were victims under 18.
  • The Center's SAFE Director responded to a sexual assault case ain which the victim had been continuously assaulted by her husband over a period of one year. She had arrived to the Emergency Room with her teenage son and all of their belongings, knowing that she could not return home. Our SAFE Director worked with the Emergency Department staff and Orangetown Police Department on the sexual assault case while also coordinating with CPS for emergency placement for the teenager, as the survivor was likely going to need hospitalization. The RCC and SAFE Director remained at the hospital with the survivor and her son until an acceptable disposition had been finalized for both parties.
  • A fifteen-year-old walk-in came into the office seeking emotional support as well therapy services. Client shared that she came to the US two months ago, escaping violence in Guatemala. Client reported that an older man from her town who is rich and powerful, drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was with some friends at his house. Client also shared that she woke up in the hospital with her parents and does not remember anything of the incident. Client did share that she pressed charges against the man, but he threatened the client and her family, so they dropped the charges. Client shared that the perpetrator continued making threats after charges were dropped, which scared client and motivated her to flee the country. The Center was able to provide supportive counseling, safety planning, and send a referral to children & youth department.
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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 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 8,337 services to 210 victims in the sexual trauma program. 

 This reporting period: 

 

  • The Center’s Senior SAFE Coordinator responded to a sexual assault case at a hospital in Rockland County, NY. The survivor was assaulted by an unknown male at a local hotel. Our SAFE examiner was able to connect the survivor with proper law enforcement officials, collect forensic evidence for processing, provided her with post-exposure prophylaxis for STI’s and was able to refer her for follow up and counseling after discharge. While speaking with the rape crisis counselor, the survivor disclosed that she was also a victim of child abuse and didn’t feel safe going home to her parents. The Rape Crisis Counselor and the SAFE examiner collaborated with the Emergency Department staff to report this to Child Protective Services and made arrangements to hold the survivor in the Emergency Department until a proper and safe disposition could be made.
  • Center staff met with a sexual assault survivor in the hospital who was overwhelmed, afraid, and uncomfortable. The client was only Spanish speaking, which made her feel more unsafe due to everyone around her not speaking her language. Staff reassured the client they were there to help and provide services to them as well as to make her safe. After explaining services to client and explaining to her the SAFE exam client felt relieved to have someone who could understand her on an emotional level. Client was afraid to be alone and staff accompanied client throughout the exam as well to the police station. Staff provided client with emotional support, safety planned, crisis prevention, and validation. Client feels she would have been unable to go through the process if she didn’t have anyone there for her during this traumatizing moment.
  • The Center worked with a woman who was sexually assaulted by a religious leader in her church. When she first came to therapy, she appeared to be very anxious, depressed, and even paranoid in her daily life. She has been working hard to get herself back to who she was before the attack—being honest in therapy on how she is feeling and processing when her anxiety is triggered and how to work through triggers. She found her strength while in therapy. Now, we are a few weeks away from trial and she said she feels strong enough to testify against him.
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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 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 9,438 services to 207 victims in the sexual trauma program. 

 This reporting period: 

  • The Center's Senior Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner performed a SAFE exam at Nyack Hospital on a cognitively impaired victim who was sexually assaulted by a former roommate/family friend.  The SAFE examiner and the Rape Crisis Counselor were able to comfort the victim and her father, and subsequently perform an evidence collection and release it to law enforcement.

  • The Center's Senior Director of Children and Youth Services provided therapeutic services to a 14-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by her stepfather. At first, staff noticed her hesitation in therapy sessions. In order to help client feel comfortable during sessions, staff told her, "let’s talk normal stuff. I want to get to know who you are as a person. The rest will follow." The client was happy just to talk about everyday things instead of the trauma that led her to come to therapy. She said she was just happy to have someone want to get to know her.  Last week, she was more comfortable to talk about what led her to therapy. With this, came a family session with her mother and she was able to open up about some things she was unable to tell her mother on other occasions. The Center will continue working with this client in order to help her process and heal from her trauma.
  • A young adult woman sought help from the Center after receiving a referral from law enforcement following a sexual assault. The client reported she was being sexually assaulted by an acquantaince. It quickly became clear that safety planning was an important component of treatment, as the client is living in an unsafe environment. Due to the pandemic, the client was forced to leave her former housing  and she had to return to her parent's home, where there is a history of domestic violence and child abuse. This client began working with her therapist, meeting twice weekly, due to her situation and needs. This is the first opportunity she has had to address the effects that her traumatic childhood and recent sexual abuse has had on her. She is also trying to cope with her present living situation in which she is isolated from peers. Lacking the support from family members has added to her stress; like many of the sexual trauma survivors we serve, her family blames her for the symptoms of PTSD she experiences and have no understanding or empathy regarding the sexual trauma. Recently, she expressed her desire to participate in a 10 week sexual trauma support group facilitated by the therapist. She has engaged in this group, sharing and processing her experience with the other members, while receiving and providing mutual support and encouragement with them. The client expresses that she feels it is helpful to know that she is not alone in her feelings--there are are other girls and women who have also been abused and she is not to blame for what happened to her. 



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Organization Information

Center for Safety & Change

Location: New City, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Center4SC
Project Leader:
Melissa Place
Grant Manager
New City, NY United States
$5,632 raised of $20,000 goal
 
141 donations
$14,368 to go
Donate Now
$10
USD
will pay for materials used to train middle and high school students, as well as college students about violence prevention. They need flip charts, pens and note cards for active participation.
$25
USD
can provide advocates to respond to 2 calls to the Center's 24-hour hotline helping a victim take the first steps to safety and justice if they so choose.
$50
USD
provides 1 comfort kit for a rape victim. Victims' clothes are often destroyed or kept for evidence. A kit includes sweatpants, a top, undergarments, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste and toiletries.
$100
USD
provides 2 comfort kits for rape victims. Victims' clothes are often destroyed or required as evidence. Kits include sweatpants, a top, undergarments, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste and toiletries.
$150
USD
will pay for a special victims/sexual assault advocate to help a victim through hotline calls, counseling, advocacy, and hospital and court accompaniment.
$250
USD
will pay for 1 on-campus sexual assault prevention training session for students, resident advisers or faculty at one of the 5 local colleges or at any one of Rockland County's 8 high schools
$500
USD
will pay for half of the recruitment and training of Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE), who are specially trained nurses to examine rape victims and collect evidence at the 2 local hospitals.
$2,500
USD
will pay for one of the Center's trained trauma therapists to provide trauma counseling for up to 6 months for a child who is a victim of sexual assault.
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