YWCA - Bergen County Rape Crisis Center Information
Every hour of the day, there is someone available. Our Advocates are trained to help and have helped thousands of people. All of our services are free and confidential (within the limits of the law). You can also visit our website at www.ywcabergencounty.org.
Crisis intervention, information and referrals, medical advocacy, legal advocacy and support is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This vital resource is for victims/survivors, their families and friends, or anyone who is concerned about sexual violence and safety in their community.
Every county in New Jersey has a Sexual Assault Resource Center. If you are outside of Bergen County, you can find your local Center at http://www.njcasa.org (New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
If you are outside of New Jersey and need help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotlineat 1-800-656-HOPE, (toll-free, 24-hours a day throughout the U.S.). This hotline run by RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network).
If you've just been raped…..
Our first concern is for your physical and emotional well being. Get yourself to a “safe” place where you will not feel in further danger. Everyone handles personal crisis differently. A rape threatens a person’s physical as well as emotional safety. Sexual violence is a personal attack like no other. When someone is raped, the first instinct is to bathe/shower to wash away all memories of the rape. If you choose to report the crime to law enforcement, it is best for the sake of evidence collecting to avoid bathing, showering, douching, changing your clothes, eating, drinking, smoking, or urinating until after a forensic medical exam at your local hospital emergency room, if possible. A call to a Rape Care Advocate at 201-487-2227 can help you with all of this.
Immediate medical attention is recommended in all instances of sexual assault for the following reasons:
To determine if the survivor has been injured in any way
- To discuss the possibility of sexually transmitted infections as a result of sexual assault. If the assault occurred within the past 5 days (120 hours), preventative medications are available to the survivor to prevent against certain sexually transmitted infections.
- To discuss the possibility of pregnancy as a result of sexual assault. If the assault occurred within the past 5 days (120 hours), emergency contraception is available to the survivor to prevent against pregnancy.
- To collect evidence (evidence collection kit), if a survivor is considering reporting the crime to the police (link to reporting section – SART)
Regardless of when the assault occurred, it is important to seek medical attention. Some sexually transmitted infections are symptomless, and if untreated may result in serious medical problems. A Rape Care Advocate can help you with this. Please call 201-487-2227 for assistance.
Reporting the Crime
There are advantages and disadvantages to reporting the crime. It is the survivor’s choice alone, and a personal decision. If you are unsure of your options, and want to explore them further, contact the Rape Crisis Center hotline (201-487-2227) to speak to a trained Rape Care Advocate.
All sexual assault cases in Bergen County are handled by investigators in a special County Sex Crimes Unit, who work with the municipality police departments. Sexual assault is considered a crime against the laws of the state. Therefore, you do not need to retain your own attorney. An attorney from the Prosecutor’s office will be assigned to the case. You are considered a witness for the state.
There is currently no statute of limitations on reporting. It is advisable that the sooner one does make a report, the greater the chance law enforcement will have to investigate and pursue the case.
As a survivor, you may be eligible for reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses from the New Jersey Victims of Crime Compensation Board (link to website). Contact the YWCA of Bergen County Rape Crisis Center for additional information at (201) 487-2227.