Health & Wellness - Environmental Self Care

Health & Wellness - Environmental Self Care

Health & Wellness - Union County Parks

Health & Wellness - Union County Parks

Mission

The Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC) is a program under the Division of Individual & Family Support Services in the Union County Department of Human Services.  By engaging in direct service, primary prevention education, training, and consultation, the UCRCC aims to shift prevailing beliefs and attitudes toward intolerance of all forms of interpersonal violence.




Vision
Working together as members of a
team, our goal is to excel in exhibiting compassion, respect, dependability, and integrity while serving and empowering victims of sexual violence.




Services

All services are confidential and free of charge. All services are provided in a manner that preserves victim privacy and safeguards the victim's right to confidentiality pursuant to (N.J.S.A. 2A:84A-22.15).  If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact us at (908) 233-7273.


Crisis Counseling / In-Person Accompaniment

UCRCC operates a twenty-four (24) hour sexual assault crisis response and informational hotline. Via the 24 hour hotline, specially trained Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates (CSVAs) provide emotional support, crisis counseling, in-person accompaniment through medical proceedings (i.e. sexual assault forensic examinations) and law enforcement interviews (i.e. filing a police report or making a statement with the police, legal meetings, and/or court proceedings, including but not limited to civil protective/restraining order hearings), advocacy, and information. 

- To better serve our diverse community, we have several bi-lingual CSVAs and have access to a translation service. Within our current group of advocates, we can assist in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Tagalog.

Counseling

UCRCC offers free, confidential, trauma informed short-term counseling services in English and Spanish to survivors of sexual violence and survivor’s non-offending significant others. Our goal is to help clients heal from issues stemming from the trauma of sexual violence, increase healthy coping strategies, and create support systems. Our licensed counselors are professionally trained and use a variety of therapeutic approaches tailored toward each survivor and their healing process.


Prevention / Community Education

A major objective of the UCRCC is to teach youth how to analyze and evaluate the way media shapes gender roles, impacts self-image, promotes or challenges social norms, and influences attitudes and behaviors though a curriculum entitled ‘Gender and Violence: How Media Shapes our Culture,’ This program is currently geared toward youth, but can be adapted for other groups.

Presentations are available for community-based organizations to further understanding and awareness of sexual violence. They can be tailored to meet the needs of your organization and can be conducted during non-traditional business hours.

The Clothesline Project is an activity that allows participants to take a stand against sexual and domestic violence. Participants are invited to express their thoughts and feelings in the form of art projects on t-shirts. The idea is to stand in solidarity by sending the message that violence hurts, violence is wrong, and violence has no place in our community. 

Information / Resources

Multi-agency service referrals are also available for survivors and family members seeking medical, legal and/or financial information, as well as other community resources.

Volunteer Opportunities

UCRCC trains volunteers in the community to serve as Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates (CSVAs). Volunteers answer calls via the 24 hour hotline and provide in-person accompaniment. Once trained, opportunities can extend to helping with outreach and/or training.



LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS ….
The Union County Rape Crisis Center is looking for dedicated individuals who are interested in helping survivors of sexual violence.
At present, we are implementing evening training opportunities from September 8 to October 29 2020. Below is the projected schedule for our Fall 2020 training:            


 September, 8, 2020                                      October 6, 2020
 September 10, 2020                                    October 8, 2020
   September 15, 2020                                    October 13, 2020
   September 17, 2020                                    October 15, 2020
   September 22, 2020                                    October 20, 2020
   September 24, 2020                                    October 22, 2020
   September 29, 2020                                    October 27, 2020
    October 1, 2020                                         October 29, 2020


What are the requirements?
· Resident of Union County
· 18 years of age or older
· Valid U.S. driver's license
· Personal (own) means of transportation (i.e. a car)
· Participation in an informal interview between 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday
· Successful completion of Advocate training, which includes attendance at all sessions
· Commitment to volunteer for a period of at least one year
· Commitment to signing up for at least three hotline shifts per month; one of which must be an overnight.
· Regular attendance at monthly volunteer meetings (evening)

*If you meet these requirements and are interested in interviewing, kindly phone us at (908) 233-7273 or email rcc@ucnj.org.

UCRCC Spotlight:
Confidential
Sexual Violence
Advocate, Anne D.

What inspired you to become a CSVA?
I was drawn to become a CSVA several years ago, however, life took a different path for several years, and I did not get the opportunity to contact until last year.  I feel that my brother was my guiding force to getting involved when I did; I was unable to help him with what he was going through, but I have the capacity to help others. I have always wanted to help others, especially after being told by both a prosecutor and a mediator that I was a victim of domestic violence.

What was the training like in comparison to the reality of serving survivors?
Training was very detailed and intense. There was a lot of one-on-one role-play scenarios with fellow advocates where we practiced and learned about hotline and accompaniment scenarios we may or may not hear. We were taught how to listen for the key words and how we can guide without telling someone what to do. In reality, you are speaking and sometimes meeting people who have experienced something traumatic and do not know what to do, who to contact or, more importantly, know that it was not their fault. Each survivor, telephone call and / or meeting is unique.


What is your goal in serving survivors? Particularly, what unique qualities do you identify within yourself to assist you in serving survivors?
My goal in serving survivors is to let them know that they did nothing wrong and they are not alone. The qualities that I identify with to assist survivors is being empathetic with the ability to listen without judgment. I provide compassion to them and/or their significant others. I, also, assist them with modes of self-care and to find the outlet they feel most comfortable which will help get them through these times


Why do you think advocacy for those affected by sexual violence is so important?
Advocacy for those affected by sexual violence is vital because they either put self-blame or have been judged / accused of doing something wrong. The survivors need to know that someone is there for them and what happened was not their fault.  There is someone that will listen to them talk, cry, vent or scream without me raising a voice to them. I am the voice of calm that they need. The voice of understanding and guidance as to what steps they can take.


Do you have anything you’d like to share with people thinking about volunteering with the UCRCC?
If you are thinking about volunteering with the UCRCC, you will have a team of 'family' who is there for not only our survivors, but also for you. The training, as I mentioned is intense, but in the same token, worth every second. Take a look within yourself, are you empathetic? Do you want to help not only the survivors but also their family and friends?


Is there anything you’d specifically like to share with the people reading this ?
Know that not only are we here not only for the survivors, but we are also here for your significant other (partner, parents, family, friends) and we are here for each other.  The team is one-unit, just like a family: always there for one another.




Highlights of 2019 - Community Outreach, Involvement & Education


Domestic Violence Symposium at Kean University
Clothesline Project at Union County College
with YWCA Union County
CSVAs and Freeholder Sergio Grandos at 
a Health and Social Services Table Event
Clothesline Project at Kean University 

Week of Action at Kean University
Clothesline Project at Kean University 
 


CSVA getting recognized for
her services @ UCRCC
2019 CSVA Graduates
 

Denim Day 2020

Denim Day 2020

Union County CSVAs Support Denim Day

Union County CSVAs Support Denim Day

Digital Consent in the Age of COVID-19

Digital Consent in the Age of COVID-19
From the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)