I’ve worked with young people for over 20 years in various capacities. Despite the variety of people and organizations I’ve encountered, the same questions always arise. Here are some thoughts and suggestions on where to get help for recovering from sexual violence and trauma.
| ORGANIZATIONS |
RAINN | The nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization
This network has helped me find resources for young people who moved out of NYC and need help locally.
Safe Horizon | The largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States (NYC)
Provides resources for survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, rape and sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, youth homelessness, and victims of other abuse. Offers hotlines, community programs, counseling, criminal court programs, a child advocacy center, family justice centers, a crime victim assistance program, an anti-trafficking program, an immigration law project, a streetwork project, and free lock replacement. They also conduct policy and research.
SAVI - Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (NYC)
Provides immediate crisis intervention in hospital emergency rooms for sexual assault survivors and follow-up therapy and counseling for survivors and their loved ones. Available in East Harlem, the Upper East Side and Queens.
The Crime Victims Treatment Center (NYC)
Provides crisis intervention, individual and group trauma-focused therapy, psychiatric evaluation, complementary therapy, and legal advocacy. CVTC is the largest, most comprehensive hospital-based victim assistance program in New York State.
The Door: A Center For Alternatives (NYC)
Their mission is to “empower young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment.” Offers a Bronx Youth Center, college preparation and tutoring, counseling, creative arts classes, food and nutrition services (including free evening meals Monday through Friday), support for youth in foster care, resources in completing high school, comprehensive health and dental services (including sexual health and birth control needs) regardless of ability to pay, jobs and internships, leadership programs, legal services (in English, Spanish, Mandarin and French), support for LGBTQ members, daily recreational activities, support for runaway and homeless youth, and supportive housing communities for young adults who are aging out of foster care or who are homeless. A professional training institute for social service workers interested in the Door’s model is also available.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center | Youth Programs (NYC)
Provides opportunities for connection, leadership, support, and a substance use treatment program for LGBTQ young people. Offers discussion groups, creative art workshops, social activities and events, performing arts programming, peer leadership training, summer camp, discussion groups, college preparation, career support, personal or vocational guidance, externships and internships, mentoring, one-on-one support, coming out support groups, family counseling, drop-in discussion groups, crisis intervention, and youth community resources.
| READING |
Sexual Assault Against Females - National Center for PTSD
A fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that covers the basics of the topic.
Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress in Teens | NYC Health + Hospitals
Almost 50% of young people experience abuse and/or witness violence, which increases the risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that can severely affect overall well-being and functioning. PTSD can increase destructive behavior, poor relationships, and difficulties in school and work but recovery is possible with treatment.
The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 20th Anniversary Edition by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
A classic and comprehensive resource on the topic. It can be overwhelming, so read at your own pace and take breaks as needed. Consider reading and discussing it with a therapist. A workbook version for women and men is also available.
Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA by Pete Walker
Complex PTSD can develop when people have experienced more than one traumatic event in their lives. It's a condition that complicates one’s life and can result in numerous difficulties but healing is possible with consistent effort.
Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress by Suzanne B. Phillips
Trauma impacts every area of life, especially one’s relationships. However, is it possible for couples to support each other in overcoming trauma and building stronger relationships.
The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Williams PhD LCSW CTS, Mary Beth
This workbook teaches cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help cope with trauma and develop emotional resilience.
Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky, Connie Burk
People can develop secondary trauma by being directly or indirectly exposed to the suffering, hardship, crisis, or trauma experienced by other humans, living beings, or the planet itself as activists, artists, counselors, educators, medical providers, scientists, and in other roles. Fortunately, there are ways to combat burnout, compassion fatigue, and stress.
Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives by Louise DeSalvo
Research shows that writing can help people heal from their pasts if it is used to reflect on painful experiences instead of serving as a space to re-experience trauma.
Last updated 2/1/17.