Annual Report 2008-2009
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 56,552residents of 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 an additional 13,014 individuals visited our web site, www.projectsister.org, for a total of 18,988 visits, an increase of 39% from last year.
Sexual assault crisis intervention programs include:
- 24-hour HOT-LINE, offering immediate crisis assistance. PSFS responded to 967 crisis hotline calls, 322 concerning 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. PSFS provided 194 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. PSFS counselors served 226 individual clients (202 female and 24 male) with 2,758 hours of individual counseling, a 27% increase in counseling hours from last year.
- 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, 41% were under the age of 18.
- Support Groups, for adult and teen survivors of sexual assault and molestation. PSFS provided 26 support group clients – four under age 18 – with 310 hours of group therapy sessions.
Sexual assault outreach and prevention programs include:
- Community Education Programs, provided for organizations at their request. PSFS reached 33,801 unduplicated individuals through 98 community education presentations and health fairs.
- Senior Safety Program, 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 1,289 individuals in 55 senior education programs.
- Adult Prevention Education, in rape awareness and personal safety, provided to residents of our service area. PSFS served 1,427 individuals in 72 adult prevention education presentations.
- Teen Prevention Education, involving rape prevention programs for junior and senior high school students. Topics include date and acquaintance rape, personal safety and sexual harassment. This year 14,071 unduplicated teens attended 359 presentations.
- Young Adult Prevention Education, involving rape prevention programs for college students. Topics include date and acquaintance rape, personal safety and sexual harassment. This year 2,465 unduplicated college students attended 45 presentations.
- Young Child Education, a 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 946 children participated in 10 presentations in school settings.
- Self-Defense Education, in which instructors teach self-defense and other personal safety skills. This year 1,140 individuals learned self-protection skills through 84 self-defense classes.