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After a Sexual Assault: Who’s There to Help?

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According to the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, nearly one in five women and one in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime. Almost 30 percent of men who reported it said it happened when they were 10 years old or younger, and 79 percent of women said it happened before they turned 25.

YWCA Bergen County’s HealingSPACE is a safe and welcoming place for survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and for their families and friends. They offer a 24/7 crisis hotline for free and confidential assistance, trained advocates who can provide counseling, and medical and legal help to survivors. They also provide prevention services to schools and other agencies, through media programs, a bystander intervention education program, and “safe dates”—a curriculum that helps prevent sexual and physical abuse in adolescent dating relationships.

HealingSPACE is proud of their new mobile app—one of New Jersey’s first and only mobile applications to connect users directly to a New Jersey-based sexual violence resource center. The app offers the ability to make immediate, emergency contact with a confidential sexual violence advocate hotline, and helps survivors learn what to do if they are sexually assaulted.

Chaffin Luhana is happy to donate $250 to HealingSPACE in the name of team member and Paralegal Jessica R. Szumla. As a volunteer with the organization, Szumla is impressed with how they partner with other anti-sexual violence organizations in the county to provide survivors and loved ones with additional resources as necessary.

“They also offer educational programs for schools and businesses,” she says, “and sponsor activities to raise community awareness about sexual violence. Through my work there, I’ve learned the importance of supporting survivors, validating their responses and allowing them to make the best choices for themselves, especially after their choice was taken away.”

If you would like to help support a survivor and his or her family, you can donate via the information below.

YWCA Bergen County (HealingSPACE)

214 State Street, Suite 207

Hackensack, NJ 07601

(201) 881-1700

Online donation: http://www.ywcabergencounty.org/donate/

Email: healingspace@ywcabergencounty.org

 

1 Comment

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  1. Andrew J. Schmutzer says:
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    Stereotypes and shame are still having a huge effect on self-reporting, especially among men. Until doctor offices, elementary schools, counselors and other mandated reporters start cooperating better, we won’t know the fuller statistics. Unfortunately, the latest stories emerging from both gymnastics and football camps are revealing abuse in far greater numbers, and during the developmental years. Tragic!