Support rape victims ages 4 to 71 years old

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

Project Report | May 22, 2017
8-year-old Rape Victim Courageously Brings Perpetrator to Justice

By Melissa Place | Grant Manager

The Center for Safety & Change, Inc. (the Center) is a nonprofit agency serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes in Rockland County, NY.  Since its inception in 1979, the Center has been the sole service provider to victims of sexual assault and their families. The Center's Sexual Assault 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.  

This reporting period, the Crime Victims Advocate worked with an 8-year-old bi-lingual (Spanish-speaking) rape victim who endured trauma beyond belief at the hands of an extended family member. The Crime Victims Advocate provided supportive counseling with a plethora of positive validations to the young survivor of the heinous crime as well as to the secondary survivor, the mother.  Both the child and the mother received individual therapy and attended support groups.

The ADA prosecuting the crime worked closely with the advocate to ensure the child and mother were not re-victimized during trial preparations, which were lengthy, extensive, and emotionally exhausting. The Advocate provided translation and interpretation of the legal process to the child, her mother, and for the prosecutor during trial preparations.

The perpetrator was offered a plea deal months before the trial, however, he refused the deal because he doubted the young girl's strength; he thought she would not be able to withstand the pressure of testifying in court. To the perpetrator's dismay, the child and her mother courageously appeared in court the day of trial, despite the criticism and threats of excommunication they had received from other family members. Once the perpetrator realized they were present and were prepared to move forward, he took the plea deal.  The perpetrator was sentenced to 14 years.

Working with a family that has undergone such a tumultuous crisis and ensuring their emotions not be hindered any further is a difficult task; however, the Special Victims Team worked together to ensure the child and mother were treated with compassion, love, and tenderness. During her time working with the Crime Victims Advocate, the child adopted the phrase "fearless", which helped her brave the legal journey she had ahead of her and continues to help her as she journeys through the healing process.  The child's artwork, which reads "FEARLESS" is attached to this story, and is proudly displayed on the Crime Victims Advocate's wall.

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Feb 21, 2017
Special Victims Team Helps 5 Year Old Rape Victim

By Melissa Place | Grant Manager

Nov 23, 2016
From Victim to Survivor: A Client's Journey to Finding Her Voice

By Melissa Place | Grants Manager

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Organization Information

Center for Safety & Change

Location: New City, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Center4SC
Project Leader:
Melissa Place
Grant Manager
New City , NY United States
$5,882 raised of $20,000 goal
151 donations
$14,118 to go
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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.
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.
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.
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.
will pay for a special victims/sexual assault advocate to help a victim through hotline calls, counseling, advocacy, and hospital and court accompaniment.
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
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.
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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