Annual Report 2006-2007
roject Sister Family Services (PSFS), formerly known as Project SISTER Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Services, 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, PSFS helps to end the cycle of family violence that can occur throughout generations by helping survivors to heal. PSFS’ 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 2006-07, PSFS served 26,650 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 are provided in both English and Spanish. PSFS 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 2006-07 indicate that we responded to 818 crisis hotline calls.
- 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 2006-07, PSFS provided 213 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, PSFS’ counselors served 231 individual clients with 1,846 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 PSFS’ 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 41%of all individual counseling clients in 2006-07 were under the age of 18.
- Support Groups, available to adult and teen survivors of sexual assault and molestation, families and significant others. Last year, PSFS provided 44 support group clients with 707 hours of counseling.
Sexual assault outreach and prevention programs include:
- Community Education Programs, provided for organizations at their request. In 2006-07, PSFS prevention education specialists reached 11,722 unduplicated individuals through 37 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. PSFS served 3,609 unduplicated persons in 106 adult and senior education programs in 2006-07.
- 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 9,787 unduplicated persons through 218 outreach presentations last year.
- Awareness/Self-Protection Education, in which instructors teach self-defense and other personal safety skills. In the past year, 439 individuals learned self-protection skills through 42 PSFS self-defense classes.