Mission: To eradicate sexual violence and abuse by: challenging the systems and individuals that promote plivilege, oppression and domination. Educating those that will join us as advocates and catalysts for change, and supporting those who have been victimized, empowering them to not only survive but thrive finding power and movement in our collective voices.
Programs: Direct services -since 1985, the sexual violence center (svc) has been serving youth and adult victim/survivors of sexual violence 12 years of age and older. Svc works in hennepin, carver, scott and other metro counties and has offices in minneapolis and chaska. The sexual violence center meets the needs of anyone affected by sexual violence with a range of services to support them through crisis and trauma, including:24-hour crisis support telephone line staffed by trained advocates,individual, in-person counseling giving intensive, directed support to victims and survivors,support groups for victims and survivors as well as friends and family of victims,crisis support in hospitals for victims of sexual assault during their evidentiary examinations,legal advocacies and legal clinics, ensuring that victim/survivors have the resources they need to file restraining orders, navigate the criminal justice system and get connected to legal representation. Svc provides services to victim/survivors at no cost. Services are provided in various locations beyond svcs offices including schools, correctional facilities, hospitals, police stations and county government buildings. Special support to incarcerated victim/survivors -svc is the prison rape elimination act (prea) community service provider to inmates in several correctional facilities in hennepin and scott counties. Through these contracts, svc advocates provide quality support services for people who are incarcerated at par with those available to the community outside of prison/jail. Svc also runs support groups and provides one-to-one counseling for incarcerated populations. Community education -staff, interns and volunteer advocates of the sexual violence center challenge the systems, attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate sexual violence in the community by bringing training and presentations to a range of organizations, institutions and community groups. Svc has a tabling presence at a variety of special events across the metro area. Presentations and informational sessions are conducted for partner agencies and in institutions housing people who need more information about svcs services. Topical trainings including sexual violence 101 and sessions about reaching marginalized populations with advocacy services are carried out in institutions including schools, correctional facilities and partner agencies. Svc also provides professional trainings for staff of organizations who, through the course of their work, find themselves engaged in supporting people affected by sexual violence. Program to engage the community to respond to sexual violence -we encourage and support those who want to join svc to make change. Svc trains community members to rise up and join us in the fight against the effects of sexual violence in the community through the 40-hour sexual assault advocacy training. This training is offered on a routine basis yearly, and is set in compliance with mn state statute. After training, svc provides the organization, on-going education and supervision for volunteer advocates and interns to participate in every area of svc service delivery. Systems change and prevention -svc coordinates two multi-disciplinary teams focused on ensuring that the systems responding to sexual violence prioritize the needs and perspectives of victims. Each team brings together stakeholders from agencies that have a role to play in the victim response, from law enforcement to corrections, medical professionals to advocacy agencies. Teams are run at the county-level under a national model for sexual violence-focused systems change. The svc-coordinated sexual assault interagency council (saic) team has been bringing together key professionals engaged in sexual violence response in carver county for over ten years. The svc-run sexual assault multi-disciplinary action response team (smarteam) of hennepin county has been working for the past two years on a collaborative process that will result in the first multi-agency protocol to guide victim response in minnesotas largest county. Additional and up-to-date information about the sexual violence center can be found online at: www. Sexualviolencecenter. Org.
I have been a volunteer at the Sexual Violence Center for over a year now. During my time, I have answered crisis line calls on overnight shifts, as well as met clients at the hospital during an evidentiary exam. I've also been a peer counselor for mostly the Spanish-speaking clientele that come through our doors.
By far the best experience I've had working at SVC has been facilitating a support group for high school girls. I had an amazing group of teens who had really been through a lot. During those three months, we built trust with each other and slowly worked our way through painful experiences. We talked about self-care and coping--ways to deal with the pain that are positive and self-loving. At the end of our time together, I could see the growth and healing that had begun in these girls, and it was such a powerful experience for me!
I'm a survivor of childhood sexual violence and about 7 yrs ago I called them seeking counseling when I was disabled by severe PTSD symptoms. They were extremely supportive and helpful in every way, providing me with free one to one counseling for many weeks. With their help I was able to reach a place in my healing process I'd never thought possible before. They helped me to feel empowered by seeking counseling and that I wasn't weak to need help. I can honestly say that they helped to change my life; I'm now back in college and have been actively volunteering as a mentor to "at-risk" young women and with other women survivors as a peer counselor.
I took my training at the Sexual Violence Center in September of 2009. The training was expansive, eye opening, done by the staff and guest speakers. And the follow through with support from the staff is always consistent, educational, and complimented by straight forwardness and good humor. The intent of SVC to promote awareness is always foremost in any contact that I've had and then that is then forwarded on by myself as a volunteer.
SVC is a much needed organization and fills a gap in the community. Many women go there when there is no where else to go. Funding of this organization is much needed and always used for good and positive things.