Annual Report 2005-2006
roject SISTER aggressively pursues a two-pronged approach to addressing the problem of sexual assault and child abuse: providing services to those in crisis with extensive follow-up treatment, and specific sexual assault outreach and prevention education programs. Our mission is to reduce the trauma and risk of sexual violence and child abuse. By alleviating the devastating aftereffects of sexual violence and child abuse, Project SISTER helps to end the cycle of family violence that can occur throughout generations by helping survivors to heal. Project SISTER’s prevention education programs empower people of all ages to avoid dangerous situations in hopes of their never having to experience the trauma of sexual assault. In fiscal year 2005-06, Project SISTER served 26,553 persons in all services and programs in our 27-city service area in the eastern portion of Los Angeles County and the western portion of San Bernardino County. All services, with the exception of the HOT-LINE, are provided in both English and Spanish. Project SISTER is the only, state-designated provider of services of this nature in our service area.
Sexual assault crisis intervention programs include:
- 24-hour HOT-LINE, offering immediate crisis assistance. Service statistics for 2005-06 indicate that we responded to 809 crisis hotline calls in nine languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, Taiwanese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Tagalog, and French.
- Accompaniment/Advocacy, in which trained volunteers support and advise survivors of sexual violence and child abuse at the hospital, police station, and during court appearances. In 2005-06, Project SISTER provided 229 hospital, court, and/or police station accompaniments to survivors, 51% of whom were under the age of 18.
- Information and Referral Service, providing information about medical services or reporting an assault, and referral to appropriate agencies.
- Professional Counseling Services, available to female and male survivors, significant others, and non-offending family members. Our counseling services help survivors to overcome the traumatic aftereffects of sexual violence and child abuse. Last year, Project SISTER counselors served 213 individual clients with 1,898 hours of individual counseling.
- Counseling for Children who are survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Our youngest clients attend counseling sessions that help them to heal, recover their childhoods and regain the confidence to pursue happy and productive futures. Non-offending family members of sexually abused children are also treated, enabling them to support the survivors in their families more effectively while managing their own anxieties. Parents of physically abused children are treated as well, frequently providing Project SISTER’s counselors with the opportunity to heal parents who have experienced abuse in their own lives. In this way, we make a significant contribution toward ending a cycle of family violence that can persist for generations. Fully 43%, or 819 hours, of all hours of individual counseling in 2005-06 were provided to 94 clients under age 18.
- Support Groups, available to adult and teen survivors of sexual assault and molestation, families and significant others. Last year, Project SISTER provided 46 support group clients with 1,106 counseling hours.
Sexual assault outreach and prevention programs include:
- Community Education Programs,provided for organizations at their request. In 2005-06, Project SISTER’s prevention education specialists reached 8,027 unduplicated individuals through 82 community education presentations and health fairs.
- Senior Citizen/Adult Prevention Education in rape awareness and personal safety, provided to local senior centers and organizations. Seniors are taught safety measures that decrease their susceptibility to sexual assault, robbery, burglary, and financial exploitation. Project SISTER served 5,765 unduplicated persons in 179 adult and senior education programs in 2005-06.
- Teen/Young Adult Education, involving rape prevention programs for junior and senior high schools as well as colleges. Topics include date and acquaintance rape, personal safety and sexual harassment. We reached 11,122 unduplicated persons through 210 outreach presentations last year.
- Awareness/Self-Protection Education, in which instructors teach self-defense and other personal safety skills. In the past year, 571 individuals learned awareness/self-protection skills through Project SISTER’s classes.