NJ sexual abuse resources — Hotlines, legal support, protection
Thursday, the U.S. Senate is hearing and considering allegations Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted one or more women in his youth. As the hearings dominate the news, many survivors of sexual violence have come forward to share their stories.
The following are resources available to New Jersey survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones — both to seek care in the immediate aftermath of an assault, and to connect with long-term personal and legal support:
RAINN — the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline run by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is at 800-656-4673 (HOPE) and can be reached 24 hours per day. The organization also offers information on sexual assault prevention, policy and activism and has information on sexual assault support services throughout New Jersey. Resources available from centers include counseling, medical attention, legal support, crime victim advocacy, emergency shelter, and community and professional education.
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault — The coalition can be reached at 800-601-7200 or email@example.com, and like RAINN offers a directory of sexual assault centers and service providers in New Jersey, broken down by county. Services through those programs include access to a confidential, anonymous 24-hour crisis hotline; short-term individual and group counseling and support groups; referrals for long term counseling; accompaniment to forensic exams, police interviews and court proceedings; community education presentations; and access to language services.
Additionally, the State of New Jersey provides its own list of county-by-county list of resources.
Womanspace — The Mercer County organization provides programs including crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, court advocacy and housing services. Its24/7 hotline is at 609-394-9000 and it offers counseling and other support services at 609-394-2532.
End Rape on Campus — In addition to providing direct support to sexual violence survivors and communities, End Rape on Campus maintains a map of campuses nationwide with information on schools' policies for responding to reports of sexual assault. Among the schools listed are Rutgers University and Montclair University. The organization will respond to requests for assistance from survivors, though responses may take three to five days. It will help connect survivors, parents and friends with support networks, and help with filing federal complaints, mentoring student activists, connecting survivors with mental health professionals and connecting survivors with legal counsel.
New Jersey's Child Abuse Hotline: The hotline can be reached at 877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873. "A concerned caller does not need proof to report an allegation of child abuse and can make the report anonymously," the state says on its hotline site. Reports will be investigated by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, and hotline staffers can help with further follow-up and care.
Suicide prevention hotlines — Adults in crisis can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time at 800-273-TALK (8255). Adolescents seeking immediate crisis assistance can call 855-654-6735 and get resources through njhopeline.com
Love is Respect — The organization offers resources both for those who have been victims of abuse, and for loved ones seeking to get help for those in their lives. It offers a National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 866-331-9474, as well as online chat services for help. Its site includes information on legal resources, including for college students and for immigrants in the country illegally.
Department of Defense Safe Helpline — The helpline at 877-995-5247 and live online chat are available at all times to members of the military who have experienced sexual violence — including those stationed at New Jersey facilities such as Naval Weapons Station Earle, Picatinny Arsenal andJoint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. It additionally offers resources for reporting retaliation after disclosing a sexual assault.
To report a crime directly to police, call 911.
More from New Jersey 101.5: