Annual Report 2007-2008
roject Sister Family Services (PSFS) continues to pursue an aggressive, two-pronged approach to 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 effects of sexual violence and child abuse, PSFS helps to end the cycle of family violence that occurs through generations by helping survivors to heal. PSFS prevention education programs empower people of all ages to avoid dangerous situations in the hope that they will never experience the trauma of sexual assault or child abuse. 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. This year PSFS served a total of 49,735 persons in our 27-city service area located in the eastern portion of Los Angeles County and the western portion of San Bernardino County. We are pleased that 10,695 individuals visited our web site, www.projectsister.org, for a total of 13,690 hits.
Sexual assault crisis intervention programs include:
- 24-hour HOT-LINE, offering immediate crisis assistance. Service statistics for 2007-08 indicate that we responded to 785 crisis hotline calls, 209 calls from youth under age 18.
- Accompaniment/Advocacy, in which trained volunteers provide support and advice to survivors of sexual violence and child abuse at the hospital, police station, and during court appearances. This year PSFS provided 172 hospital, court, and/or police station accompaniments to survivors, 53% 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 effects of sexual violence and child abuse. This year PSFS counselors served 233 individual clients with 2,178 hours of individual counseling.
- Counseling for Children who are survivors of sexual and other physical and/or emotional 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 their children more effectively while managing their own anxieties. Parents of physically abused children are also provided with treatment, frequently giving PSFS counselors 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. Of all individual counseling clients, 39% were under the age of 18.
- Support Groups, or adult and teen survivors of sexual assault and molestation, families and significant others. PSFS provided 59 support group clients – five under age 18 – with 564 hours of group sessions.
Sexual assault outreach and prevention programs include:
- Community Education Programs, provided for organizations at their request. PSFS prevention education staff reached 33,753 unduplicated individuals through 94 community education presentations and health fairs.
- Senior Citizen/Adult Prevention Education in rape awareness and personal safety, provided to local senior centers and group residential settings. Seniors are taught safety measures that decrease their vulnerability to sexual assault, robbery, burglary, and financial exploitation. PSFS served 1,813 individuals in 112 senior education programs.
- Teen/Young Adult Education, involving rape prevention programs for junior and senior high schools and for colleges. Topics include date and acquaintance rape, personal safety and sexual harassment. This year 10,237 unduplicated teens attended 245 presentations and 1,411 unduplicated college students attended 47 presentations.
- Young Child Education, a new program in which children age 5 to 10 receive instruction focused on the difference between “good and bad” touch. They also learn to how to ask for help if they have been touched in a “bad” way. This year 394 children participated in 6 presentations in school settings.
- Self-Defense Education, in which instructors teach self-defense and other personal safety skills. This year 878 individuals learned self-protection skills through 53 self-defense classes.