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Center for Safety & Change provides services to domestic violence victims and their families both in person at one of our six office locations and by telephone. Domestic violence victims with special circumstances may receive services at other safe locations of their choice (e.g., library, restaurant, religious institution, private home). Center for Safety & Change also maintains a presence at all six domestic violence courts in Rockland County. [both link to locations page]
In addition to our dedicated programs, each of Center for Safety & Change’s offices provide the full range of non-residential services and support to domestic violence victims including:
If you believe you are the victim of domestic violence or know someone who may be a victim, Center for Safety & Change is here to help you.
Information and referral
All domestic violence, sexual assault and other crime victims and family members contacting Center for Safety & Change are provided with a full array of information and referrals to community services that can meet their individual needs, including: emergency residential shelter, medical services, social service agencies, food pantries, legal services, child care, housing, employment, housing and educational resources.
Information and referral services are provided both during regular business hours and, via the 24/7 crisis hotline, during evenings, weekends, and holidays. Since Center for Safety & Change is the only agency in Rockland County specifically providing services and support for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, many of these referrals are to programs and services offered directly by Center for Safety & Change at our six office locations throughout the county and at the RFS Emergency Residential Shelter. We also provide referrals to outside community agencies and organizations. In addition, Center for Safety & Change offers information and outreach programs for students, schools, professionals, and community agencies and leaders. Upon request, Center for Safety & Change can provide information and referrals to community services and programs for perpetrators of domestic violence.
Within Center for Safety & Change’s advocacy, accompaniment and empowerment services, our trained agency staff can act as liaisons and/or provide active intervention with community programs on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Advocacy services can include: assistance in accessing legal remedies, protections and law enforcement personnel; obtaining medical care; social services; employment and housing; and obtaining and submitting public assistance and crime victim compensation applications. Center for Safety & Change’s advocacy services also include accompanying domestic violence victims to court, law enforcement, medical providers, probation appointments, and other community resources.
Advocacy services are provided at all six of our office locations during regular business hours, by appointment, or via the 24/7 crisis hotline on evenings, weekends, and holidays. The full range of advocacy services are also provided to domestic violence victims seen by Center for Safety & Change’s Director of Children Services and direct care staff at the Rockland County CPS (Safe Moms! Safe Kids) office or at other locations due to any special needs or circumstances.
Both individual and group counseling are provided for domestic violence victims. Supportive counseling stresses self-sufficiency and individual empowerment; educates clients about the dynamics of domestic violence; helps victims to seek services; informs victims about options to ensure their and their children’s safety; informs victims about legal, financial, employment, and housing options; and helps victims with problem-solving strategies.
Individual and group counseling sessions are facilitated either by staff member with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree or higher, or by a professional counselor under the supervision of an MSW or equivalent. The number of individual or group counseling sessions provided varies with each victim’s needs, from one or two times to an extended period. When more intensive therapy is required, domestic violence victims are referred to medical service providers in the community. At no time is couples counseling provided as a replacement for individual and/or group counseling, which is made available to victims of domestic violence pursuant to New York State law (18 NYCRR 462).
At present, Center for Safety & Change has counseling groups in English and Spanish, as well as for Orthodox Jewish and parents of victims.
Community Education and Outreach
Center for Safety & Change devotes significant time and resources to educating the Rockland County community about domestic violence and sexual assault and related services available to victims. This outreach and education reaches a wide spectrum of organizations, such as schools, law enforcement agencies, courts, hospitals, businesses, community groups, companies of all sizes, and public and private agencies serving ethnic or religious groups. Center for Safety & Change also coordinates outreach and education activities with other not-for-profit and governmental organizations in order to share resources and improve effectiveness. A significant portion of Center for Safety & Change’s outreach and education activities focuses on informing victims of domestic violence, including underserved populations, about available services.
The needs of the children of domestic violence victims can be as important as those of the victims themselves. Center for Safety & Change offers children’s services at our office locations as well as at the RFS emergency residential shelter. These services range from organizing childcare to providing safety planning and counseling. Center for Safety & Change also advocates on behalf of the children of abuse victims with school administrators and teachers, and informs school personnel of the special circumstances faced by children of domestic violence victims, and how these circumstances may impact school behavior.
All Center for Safety & Change office locations offer supportive atmospheres where healing can begin. At the Rockland County Child Protective Services (CPS) office, through the Safe Moms/ Safe Kids Program, Center for Safety & Change Director of Children Services and direct care staff offer counseling and advocacy for mothers with children in the CPS system, as well as for their children. Center for Safety & Change staff at the CPS office can also conduct home visits, accompany mothers to court, and provide a range of supportive services both while the family is involved with CPS and, in many cases, after that involvement ends.
Legal services to domestic violence victims are offered through the Mary Weingard Domestic Violence Law Project (DVLP). DVLP consists of two full-time staff attorneys and a full-time paralegal, who help victims with legal services or arrange referrals. Every domestic violence victim at Center for Safety & Change is entitled to one free hour of legal consultation with staff attorneys, who also consult regularly with agency counselors regarding legal issues facing Center for Safety & Change clients. DVLP attorneys can also consult with and provide technical assistance to outside attorneys representing domestic violence victims. In addition, DVLP attorneys serve as the agency’s liaisons to government and social service agencies regarding domestic violence law, policy, and issues.
At no time are domestic violence victims denied services or provided with less than the full compliment of programs due to a lack of English language proficiency. Center for Safety & Change provides translation services for all non-English-speaking domestic violence victims and, upon request, for victims for whom English is a second language. Translation services are provided by Center for Safety & Change staff who, collectively, are fluent in several languages including Spanish, French/Creole, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Hindi, and by access to 24/7 Language Line service, which enables conversations to be translated into any of over 200 languages and dialects. Our staff also includes bi-cultural coordinators from the Asian, African-American, Latino, Haitian, Orthodox Jewish, and LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Questioning) communities. Non-English-speaking victims are accommodated at all six agency locations and, as needed, at other locations where Center for Safety & Change direct care staff may meet with domestic violence victims.
Transportation services are integral to Center for Safety & Change and are made available to all non-residential clients upon request. At no time are services unavailable to domestic violence victims due to lack of transportation to our offices or other community agencies. In addition, Center for Safety & Change offers clients transportation assistance so they can secure legal, medical, housing, employment, or public assistance services. Transportation is also made available to Rockland students participating in outreach and educational activities on behalf of Center for Safety & Change.
Transportation is provided directly by agency staff or volunteers, or by assisting victims in obtaining public or private transportation of their choice. Public transportation is available via Transport of Rockland (TOR) buses, and private transportation is available via cab services throughout Rockland County.
Center for Safety & Change is equipped to provide non-residential services for victims with special needs, such as the physically handicapped, non-English speaking, or hearing impaired (via TTY telephone line and/or by American Sign Language translators.) Non-English-speaking domestic violence victims are accommodated by Center for Safety & Change staff who, collectively, are fluent in several languages including Spanish, French/Creole, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Hindi, and by access to 24/7 Language Line services, which enable conversations to be translated into more 200 languages and dialects. The unique RFS staffing also reflects the diversity of the Rockland community by including bi-lingual and bi-cultural coordinators from and for the Asian, African-American, Latino, Haitian, Orthodox Jewish, and LGBTQ (Lesbian!Gay/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Questioning) communities on staff. At no time are domestic violence victims denied services or provided with less than the full compliment of Center for Safety & Change services due to lack of English language proficiency.
Services for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Center for Safety & Change is committed to working towards an end to violence against LGBTQ people. We are a proud member of the New York State Domestic Violence Network, whose mission is to improve responses to and prevent domestic violence impacting LGBTQ people and communities throughout the state.
Center for Safety & Change provides services with an acute understanding of specific needs and challenges of LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Tactics of abuse can include physical violence, threats of physical violence, threats of outing, use of privilege/heterosexism, sexual abuse, economic abuse, harming children, harming pets, and/or isolating ones partner from friends and family. Sexual violence can be perpetrated by someone who is also LGBTQ or not, and sometimes, sexual violence is part of a bias-motivated attack. As of July 2008 New York State policy changed so that LGBTQ victims of domestic violence can seek orders of protection through the Family Courts. For more information, download the brochure: Fair Access to Family Court Publication (insert link to Fair Access to Family Court Publication PDF). If you would like to petition for an order of protection through the Family Court System, call THE CENTER hotline (845) 634-3344.
Center for Safety & Change recognizes the barriers that many LGBTQ people may face when accessing any type of service, so we also offer referrals to allied organizations according to individual needs. Click here for a list of trusted resources. (link to LGBTQ community resources, on a linked web page, need page content)
THE CENTER also offer trainings, consultations and technical support on the needs of LGBTQ communities; Trans 101; violence and LGBTQ communities; heterosexism; homophobia; transgender oppression; and intersections with race, class, sex, immigration status etc. All trainings can be adapted to your group, school or organization.