| Feb 21, 2017
Special Victims Team Helps 5 Year Old Rape Victim
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, formerly known as Rockland Family Shelter, 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, counseling and therapy, a 15-bed emergency residential shelter, services for families of survivors, support groups, and a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner program at both of Rockland’s acute care hospitals.
This reporting period, a Special Victims Advocate was referred a 5 years old who was sexually assaulted by her cousin. The client came to the Special Victims Center and was able to specify exactly what happened to her and who sexually abused her. The young client informed the advocate that her 18 year old cousin sexually abused her and was able to explain that she was sexually assaulted by her cousin on multiple occasions. The client’s cousin was arrested.
The client began receiving therapy at the Center and the client’s mother attended our support group for parents whose children have been sexually abused. Both client and her mother attended every session.
The perpetrator declined a plea bargain, therefore the client’s case went to trial. Once again, client, her mother, and her father were interviewed. After the family interview, the Center explained the legal process that would be taking place. The Center along with the multi-disciplinary team helped prepare the client for trial. The client bravely testified in front of a jury and her perpetrator. The jury found the perpetrator guilty on all 6 counts of sexual abuse. Both the client and her mother are still currently in therapy through the Center once a week and are doing GREAT. The young client is so full of life and has such a great personality. She also has an amazing support system at home as well as here at the Center.