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Essex County Rape Care Center

SAVE of Essex County


1-877-733-2273
24/7 Hotline
SAVE of Essex County, a program of Family Service League is the State of New Jersey’s “designated” Rape Care Center for Essex County. The Center has two goals: 

-to provide direct services to survivors of sexual violence and their families
-to work to prevent sexual violence through education and advocacy.

These goals are achieved through four services:
- Our Hotline
- Accompaniment
- Education
- Counseling

Our team of experienced and caring professionals can help. The Essex County Rape Care Center also has a team of highly trained volunteer Advocates ready to help, 24-hours a day.

Get Help Now

If you have been sexually assaulted . . . Get to a Safe Place!

DON’T:

- Bathe 
- Shower
- Douche
- Change clothes
- Urinate
- Brush your teeth or gargle
- Eat, drink or smoke

You could be washing away evidence.

However, doing any of the above should not deter you from seeking medical help!

DO:

Call the Rape Care Hotline at 1-877-733-CARE (2273) any time, day or night, to learn about your options.

Get medical attention.

 

We’re Here to Help!

SAVE of Essex County is the State of New Jersey’s “designated” rape care center for Essex County. The Center has two goals: (1) to provide direct services to survivors of sexual violence and their families; and (2) to work to prevent sexual violence.

We achieve these goals through four services:

- A 24-hour, free and confidential Hotline
- Crisis services for survivors and their families
- Educational programs and training for youth and professionals
- Free, unlimited counseling at Family Service League.

The Hotline
The free, confidential, 24-hour hotline is staffed by trained Advocates, who respond to calls from survivors of sexual violence and their friends and family, as well as from professionals in the field. Advocates have received calls from every community in Essex County, from men and women, from elderly individuals and children, from survivors of violence that occurred ten years ago and ten minutes ago. Our Advocates provide a supportive ear to callers as well as concrete information on a variety of issues, including: survivors’ rights and responsibilities, the forensic exam and rape kit, procedures for reporting incidents to the police, and the role of family and friends in supporting the survivor. Callers are guided through the process of understanding and assessing their options and in making their own decision.

Accompaniment

If a caller wishes to have an Advocate meet him/her at the hospital or police station, the Advocate who received the call will meet her there. In New Jersey, survivors of sexual violence have a legally protected right to have an Advocate present with them. The Advocate continues to provide information and supports the survivor in the process of gathering information and making decisions. The Advocate is part of S.A.R.T. (Sexual Assault Response Team), which is comprised of a police officer, a S.A.N.E (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse and the Advocate, and if the survivor desires, the Advocate will be present during the administration of the Rape Kit. Advocates accompany survivors of sexual violence to hospital emergency departments at Beth Israel, Clara Maass, Mountainside, Saint Barnabas, UMDNJ, and others.
Accompaniment to law enforcement and other law agencies is a key service provided to survivors. Advocates accompany survivors of sexual violence to the police station, to court, to law offices, and other organizations. Advocates provide information and resources to help survivors navigate the civil and criminal justice systems as well as provide referrals to aid in complex legal issues such as victims’ compensation, housing issues and confidentiality. Additionally, since 67 percent of sex crimes are committed by an assailant known to the survivor, the legal advocacy program can help survivors gain access to resources which will address safety concerns. This is particularly important when the sexual assault is also considered a domestic violence case, and the Center sees many such cases.

Free Counseling
SAVE clients receive free and confidential one-on-one counseling from professional therapists through the Counseling Program at Family Service League. The clinical staff, all of whom have received training in the area of sexual violence, works with the survivor as long as necessary without a limit on the number of sessions. Additionally, as sexual violence affects more than the survivor, family and friends are encouraged to attend counseling with the survivor, where appropriate.

Sexual Violence Prevention
SAVE staff brings our violence prevention message to Essex County in many settings. Within the last year, 54 presentations have been conducted in middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. Our staff visits churches, community centers and health fairs. Additionally, training and consultation services are provided to local law enforcement, emergency management and hospital personnel, including the Police Academy and the Police Chiefs of Essex County.

Essex County Rape Care Center
In a country in which someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes, and where one in six women is the survivor of a rape or attempted rape[1], there is a critical need for services for survivors. There are an estimated 1,000 incidents of sexual assault each year in Essex County.

Sexual violence is an immense problem in Essex County which profoundly impacts the physical and mental health of survivors, degrades the social fabric of our communities, elevates the crime rate and negatively influences the quality of life for all residents. The Essex County Rape Care Center of Family Service League is the State of New Jersey’s “designated” Rape Care Center for Essex County.

The Center has two goals:
-to provide direct services to survivors of sexual violence and their families
-to work to prevent sexual violence through education and advocacy

These goals are achieved through four services:
- Our Hotline
-“Accompaniment”
- Education
- CounselingOur team of experienced and caring professionals can help. The Essex County Rape Care Center also has a team of highly trained volunteer Advocates ready to help, 24-hours a day.

What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact. If you are in any situation that is sexual in nature that makes you feel uncomfortable; or if you have ever (minutes ago, or years ago) been forced, coerced or pressured into any (even slight) sexual activity that you did not want, than please call our hotline number 877-733-CARE (2273) immediately!

What will happen when you call?
All calls to our hotline will be kept completely confidential. You will speak with a representative called an Advocate whose only concern will your well-being and best interests. You will be advised of your rights and your options. If needed, an Advocate will accompany you to a hospital and / or a police station. Under no circumstances will you be required to file a police report or testify in court if you do not want to. If you would like, you can schedule a free, one on one, private and confidential session with a counselor who is a trained expert in handling sexual abuse and will discuss your personal situation with you.

How Do We Help?
Over the past four years, SAVE of Essex Count has built the structures, programs and relationships necessary to fulfill its mission. The staff and volunteers have assisted hundreds of survivors of sexual violence at extremely difficult times in their lives and have made it possible for them to rebuild their lives. The Center also has educated thousands of Essex County teenagers, couples and families about the problem of sexual violence.

Additionally, the Center has provided ongoing critical support and consulting services to healthcare, criminal justice and EMS professionals who work with survivors of sexual violence. ECRCC clients have access to free and confidential one-on-one counseling from professional therapists through the Counseling Program at Family Service League. Using a time-tested approach to Family Therapy, our counseling staff helps survivors to identify and use the emotional resources for healing that are available in their immediate and extended families. One of the clinicians is bilingual in order to be able to serve clients who speak Spanish, a growing population in our service area.The clinical staff, all of whom have received training in the area of sexual violence, work with survivors to discuss and work through a painful, confusing and often traumatic time as long as necessary without a limit on the number of sessions.

This is very unusual in New Jersey, as the cost of counseling services is high for the agency, but this program signals the agency’s complete commitment to supporting survivors throughout the often lengthy and arduous process of their recovery and healing. Additionally, as sexual violence affects more than the survivor, family and friends are encouraged to attend counseling with the survivor, when appropriate. Whenever the Coordinator encounters a survivor – through the hotline, on an accompaniment or at a presentation – she will encourage the survivor to take advantage of this valuable service.

This past year, 188 clients of the ECRCC availed themselves of this service, and they received 651 sessions of therapy with a therapist who has received special training in providing treatment for survivors of sexual violence.

Advocates
Advocates are volunteers from the community who are available to survivors of sexual abuse though our Center. These volunteers undergo a rigorous 40 hour training program to prepare them to be able to supervise and cover our confidential, 24-hour crisis response hotline and to accompany survivors of sexual violence to hospital emergency departments, police precincts and courts. They also provide information, referrals and guidance to survivors about rights and responsibilities, medical and legal procedures, victims’ compensation, housing, privacy and safety and other issues and (if desired) the administration of the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Kit.

During the last year our Advocates received 434 hotline calls and performed 162 accompaniments. After helping the victim absorb the initial shock, Advocates play a central role in empowering the victim to regain control of their life by informing the victim of their rights, providing information on what to expect throughout the recovery process, and encouraging survivors to access mental health services to deal with the trauma. For the families of the victims, Advocates are there to share in the support, alleviate fears, answer questions and provide information. Advocates can also play a role in diffusing tense situations between family members or between families and law enforcement officials.

Essex County Rape Care Center Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative
Changing the attitudes and behavior of young people offers the greatest potential to prevent sexual violence. This is why in April of 2007, we launched our Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative. The Initiative has successfully brought our messages regarding sexual violence prevention to local middle and high schools, community centers and civic leaders. Our Initiative reaches adolescents through classroom presentations, trainings at student club meetings, information sessions at athletic practices, workshops after school and participation in health fairs and sporting events.

Our hope is to break the cycle of sexual violence and avoid the physical and mental health problems that result by reaching young people before misconceptions and inappropriate patterns of behavior take root.Presentations are specifically tailored to the audience so that material is relevant, impactful and age-appropriate.

Topics include: an explanation of the services provided by ECRCC, myths and misconceptions, definitions of sexual violence and rape, date rape drugs, what to do if you are a survivor or if you know a survivor, typical reactions – rape trauma syndrome, special populations (male, lesbian, gay, bisexual, children) and others. Additionally, the Coordinator and Advocates will facilitate discussions, giving participants the opportunity to openly discuss questions or comments regarding what they have learned. The facilitator will remain on site after the formal presentation should anyone wish to speak privately.

“I came to Family Service League for the advanced education. I stayed because of our commitment to community service.” Ursula Liebowitz, Director, Essex County Rape Care Center

How Your Support Will Help
Volunteer - If you are interested in a challenging and rewarding volunteer opportunity, we train new Advocates each year. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives at a critical time, as well as the community as a whole by:
· Supervising and covering our confidential, 24-hour crisis response hotline· Accompanying survivors of sexual violence to hospital emergency departments, police precincts and courts
· Providing information, referrals and guidance to survivors about rights and responsibilities, medical and legal procedures, victims’ compensation, housing, privacy and safety and other issues and (if desired) the administration of the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Kit
· Serving as an Advocate and liaison on behalf of survivors with medical staff and law enforcement personnel

Please contact our Prevention Programs Coordinator at:
(973) 746-0800.

Contribute - Your contributions will go to:
· Care Packages· Salary for ECRCC staff and therapists In Kind donations are also welcome
· Toiletries
· Underwear (Male and Female)
· Sweat suits
· Unmarked shopping bags
· Office Supplies for our Prevention efforts including but not limited to paper, toner, pens, folders


“I choose to be an Advocate to support survivors of sexual violence and to let them know they are not alone in this.” Ingrid R. Advocate


“I became an advocate to help those in their time of need. The only way to stop such an ugly act is for good people to do something.” Justin T. Advocate

[1] Based on data from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005