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 change. The Center is the sole provider of services to domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and all other crime victims in Rockland County, NY—there are no other resources for victims in the county. The Center is the sole domestic violence residential and non-residential services certified by NYS Office of Children and Family Services in Rockland County, NY (“Rockland”) and is Rockland’s only NYS Office on Victim Services designated Victim Assistance Program. In addition, all of the Center’s staff are certified and trained by the NYS Department of Health, all staff and volunteers are certified rape crisis counselors, and the Center serves as Rockland’s only Rape Crisis Program and operates Rockland’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner services. Finally, within the last four years, the Center became the largest non-profit provider of immigration legal services in the county, and the largest provider of family law services specifically for victims in the county.
Over the last three months, the Center provided overr 6,300 services to 194 victims in the sexual trauma program and conducted 12 sexual assault forensic exams. Some of the victims and survivors the Center worked with this month include:
A 15-year-old male who has been sexually assaulted by a close family relative for approximately 2 years. Client shared feeling like he was not able to report the incident due to fear of not being believed by his family. Client was referred to our agency from the local police station after client reported the abuse at school. Client is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, guilt, and confusion after he reported abuse. Efforts are placed on sharing client’s triggers and stressors with school counselor and providing client’s parents with information on sexual trauma and ways to provide youth with additional support.
A 15-year-old female that began receiving services due to surviving sexual trauma. Sessions have been focused on building rapport with the creative arts therapist. The creative arts therapist has been providing art directives geared towards allowing client to release any emotions the client has been suppressing. Client has been able to gradually manage trauma and cope with life stressors through art. Creative arts therapist and client have been discussing future goals for client that aims to promote healing, release and process traumas, while building client’s confidence.
- An 8-year-old male with a history of sexual trauma. This client was exposed to sexual molestation from his biological father since he was an infant. The client’s mother was recently been made aware of the abuse and received a confession from the father. While the abuser is facing legal consequences for his actions their child recently started therapeutic services to assist in processing the trauma. Recently, client has started sand tray therapy, creative arts, and play therapy in order to process traumatic incident.
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.