MISSION & PURPOSE

The Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC) is a program that operates 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. 

The Union County Rape Crisis Center (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) as well as 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.  Multi-agency service referrals are also available for survivors and family members seeking clinical, medical, legal and/or financial information, as well as other community resources.

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).  


LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS...

The Union County Rape Crisis Center is looking for dedicated individuals who are interested in helping survivors of sexual violence. Please note that our next training is slated to run from April 2nd - May 16th on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6:30p-9:30p).

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
  • 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.

 

 

Featured Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate

Featured Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate
Bianca S.
What inspired you to become a CSVA?
I have always had a desire to help others in any way that I could, but it was personal experience that led me to want to become a CSVA. Going through situations of varying degrees throughout my childhood as well as my adult life, I knew that I would never want anyone to feel scared and alone when dealing with such traumatic experiences. After a couple of years of being unable to fit training into my schedule, I tried again and was finally able to make it happen.

What was the training like in comparison to the reality of serving survivors?
All the information acquired during training is key in knowing how to interact with and assist survivors. The role-plays were the most helpful for me. They were so close to the real thing that I grew to understand the importance of simply listening.

What is your goal in serving survivors? Particularly, what unique qualities do you identify within yourself to assist you in serving survivors?
My goal is to have survivors know that they are not alone and to leave them feeling like they can, and will, get through their experience. Listening with an open heart and empathizing is the best way I know to provide the support that they need.

Why do you think advocacy for those affected by sexual violence is so important?
Advocacy for survivors is so important because they have already been through an experience that has left them feeling vulnerable and weak. Most are unaware of their options and numerous resources they can turn to. That is where the CSVA comes in, to help them through the process and make sure that their voices are heard.

Do you have anything you’d like to share with people thinking about volunteering with the UCRCC?
Volunteering with the UCRCC has taught me so much. It is challenging work, but the outcome is worth it all. If you have the desire and the time to help, please do it. Not only do we need great people on our team, but the survivors need us most of all!

Is there anything (can be words of support/encouragement, an experience, etc.) you’d specifically like to share with the people reading this (can be fellow advocates and/or those who utilize our services)?
I was very nervous at first, wondering if I would be able to help survivors going through such a difficult time. I wasn’t sure if it would bring up feelings for me or if I would be able to connect with them the way they needed. On my first accompaniment, I had a survivor reach for my hand. That moment, I realized I was meant to be there, and she was glad that I was there for her. Every situation is different, but I am more confident now that I can handle it with the training I received and the support of the great team at the Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC).







EDUCATION

A major objective of the Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC) is to target youth, throughout Union County, with primary prevention education. The Gender and Violence: How Media Shape our Culture curriculum is the method being used to achieve this goal.

This curriculum teaches students how to analyze and evaluate the way media shapes gender roles, impacts self-image, promotes or challenges social norms, and influences attitudes and behavior. Youth in turn develop critical thinking skills. These same skills can also aid them in effectively navigating the negative dimensions of popular culture including violence, gender stereotyping, and sexualized media content. It is believed that by becoming empowered and self-aware, youth will be more effective at resisting the constant stream of violent or hyper-sexualized messages in print, television, or online.

Although this program is currently geared toward youth, it can easily be adapted for other groups. If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact the Union County Rape Crisis Center at (908) 233-7273.