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 | Apr 27, 2021
The need for services continues to rise-The Center provides 9,438 services to 207 victims

By Melissa Place | Grants Manager

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
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Center4SC
Project Leader:
Melissa Place
Grant Manager
New City , NY United States
$5,862 raised of $20,000 goal
149 donations
$14,138 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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