Mujeres provides support for adult survivors of sexual violence, both Spanish and English speaking, at many stages in their recovery. Staff also work with significant others such as parents of children who have been sexually abused, partners or adult family members of survivors. The goal of these services is to ensure that survivors of any form of sexual violence receive all the necessary support and to assure them that they are not alone. The Sexual Assault Program offers counseling, both individual and group, as well as medical advocacy, legal advocacy, community education, professional training and therapy.
Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that is not consensual. Sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to participate in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Sexual assault can take many forms, including inappropriate touching; vaginal, anal, or oral penetration; rape; and child sexual abuse. Survivors of sexual harassment are also seen in the sexual assault program.
Mujeres provides survivors with short-term individual counseling, a 15-week educational group and an ongoing support group. Counseling sessions help reduce a survivor’s symptoms and offer stability. The ongoing group offers survivors the opportunity to share experiences with other survivors and to build a support system. A therapist is also available to work with survivors whose lives have been severely affected by the sexual violence in their lives. The therapy can be short or long-term and this can be based on the clients’ needs.
Mujeres has contracts with 3 hospitals in the area- Mercy, St. Anthony and Norwegian American. Whenever a patient at one of these hospitals identifies as having been sexually assaulted the hospitals gets in touch with Mujeres. A medical advocate provided by Mujeres can accompany the survivor. The medical advocate explains the medical and criminal justice processes to survivors. The advocate also discusses the survivor’s rights and options to ensure that they receive the treatment they deserve.
Mujeres also assists survivors to work with the police and with the judicial system. A court advocate can accompany survivors to the police station to assist with filing a police report, and to court for hearings. The advocate can also assist a survivor with obtaining a civil-no-contact-order, a stalking-no-contact-order or an order of protection. The court advocate may also attend court related appointments and meetings with the survivor.
In addition to the services Mujeres provides directly to sexual assault survivors, Mujeres also educates the community and trains other individuals who can help survivors, such as police, church leaders and medical professionals. A 40-hour training that is certified by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault is also provided for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the program.
Public funding for the Sexual Assault Program is provided through the Illinois Attorney General's Office, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault,Cook County, and through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women.
For more information about the Sexual Assault Program please contact Maritza Reyes at 773.890.7656 or email@example.com