For Victims of Sexual Assault *
Sexual violence is inflicted on all races, people of all economic status, across all age groups, and impacts both men and women. Victims of sexual violence experience a wide range of emotions and often need support from family, friends and professionals to piece their lives back together. As the designated center for sexual assault victims in Carroll County, Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County (RCIS) offers support services for victims to assist in the healing process. All services offered by RCIS are free and confidential.
Who Does RCIS Serve? *
RCIS serves people age 12 years and older, male and female, victims of sexual violence, and significant others, regardless of the length of time since the assault.
Please note that our full range of services are available to male victims as well as female victims. Women are not the only victims of rape and sexual assault. In fact, one in every ten victims of rape is male (Source: Rape Incest and Abuse National Network, www.rainn.org). Male victims are even less likely than female victims to report the crime or to seek help and support. Men suffer many of the same effects of sexual assault as women, and at times their reactions are more profound. Men often suffer an exaggerated sense of self blame, guilt, and anger. For more information specific to men, please see our resource page.
Have You Been Recently Sexually Assaulted? *
- Victims should seek medical attention immediately
- Sexual assault can leave victims with injuries that are both visible and invisible to the naked eye. Victims should be examined at the hospital immediately following the assault to treat any injuries, and be tested for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.
- Victims can also be treated at the local health department or their regular GYN during their regular hours.
- If you go to the nearest hospital
- It is important that a victim not shower and not change clothes before going to the hospital in order to preserve evidence.
- Specially trained nurses called Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) are available at Carroll Hospital and other hospitals in the region. SAFE nurses not only treat victims of assault but collect any and all evidence from a survivor’s body to be used during the sexual assault investigation.
- Victim participation is at the discretion of the victim while at the hospital. A victim may decline any and all parts of the exam. For more information regarding SAFE exams please visit Carroll Hospital Center.
- A trained hotline volunteer from RCIS will meet you at the hospital.
- Victims may also utilize free and confidential services from RCIS. Please see services below.
Confidentiality is essential for effective therapy and support services. Everything a client discusses with hotline volunteers or therapists at RCIS is kept private between the client and our agency. Professional ethics and Maryland law require that we protect the confidentiality of people who seek help from us. A signed permission form by the client is required before information about a client is released to anyone outside the agency. The only instances that RCIS would report any discussion between a therapist or hotline volunteer and a client without the client’s written consent are:
- If the client threatens harm to self or others
- If the client discloses child abuse
- In rare cases, certain types of court proceedings may force RCIS to discuss client information with judicial officials
All services are free! Although government grants, private donations, agency fundraising and private donors contribute funds needed to provide free services, there are budget shortfalls and hundreds of people seeking help. To make the best use of these resources and to provide quality service, we ask that people who take advantage of counseling services help with a personal donation when possible.
Suggested donations: $7 per group therapy session and $15 per individual counseling session.
Important – Donations are not required for any client service. Please note these suggested donations only represent about one-sixth of the actual cost to provide counseling services.
RCIS has Qualified Therapists and Crisis Workers *
RCIS agency therapists are licensed, professionally trained, and have years of experience working with victims of sexual violence.
Our licensed agency therapists have Master’s Degrees in counseling, social work or related fields, and at least one other counseling certification. These certifications may be obtained through licensing by the State of Maryland, the National Certified Counselor Program or other professional organizations.
RCIS also has specially trained intervention volunteers to help clients via our 24-hour hotline and at the RCIS office. Our crisis personnel successfully complete our Crisis Intervention Certification program and receive additional training each year they are with RCIS. All volunteers are carefully monitored by specially trained staff and agency therapists.
Every staff member, volunteer intervention volunteer, and board members must successfully pass a background check before serving with RCIS.
Client Services *
- 24-Hour Hotline
- Walk-in Crisis Intervention
- Court, Hospital, Police and School Accompaniments
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Information and Referrals
24 Hour Hotline 410-857-7322
Hotline volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to clients in crisis. The hotline is available for victims of sexual violence as well as loved ones of victims. The hotline is not an option for on-going counseling but is offered as a tool for clients needing to speak with someone right away. Hotline volunteers are not a replacement for licensed therapists. On-going counseling is offered through our individual and group counseling services.
Hotline volunteers, who are specially trained and certified by Rape Crisis Intervention Service, provide crisis intervention, share de-escalation techniques and bring stabilization to help victims in crisis.
The hotline volunteer is someone who can provide emotional and practical support to victims of sexual violence. Responsibilities include talking to hotline callers, accompaniment to police or hospital if needed, and follow-up. Volunteers assist with hotline coverage primarily in the evening, on weekends and holidays. Hotline volunteers also staff information tables at community events and provide assistance with fundraising events.
Walk-in Crisis Intervention
Walk-in Crisis Intervention staff are available between 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday, and 9am-4pm on Fridays, (excluding recognized holidays), at our center located in Westminster, MD. No appointment is necessary. Clients seeking in-person intervention are welcome to walk-in during office hours for help. Staff crisis personnel are not a replacement for licensed therapists. On-going counseling is offered through our individual and group counseling services.
Court, Hospital, Police and School Accompaniment
When requested, hotline volunteers are dispatched to court, hospital, police and school accompaniments to assist any victim of sexual violence. Hotline volunteers can be dispatched to the Carroll County Courthouse, Carroll Hospital Center, any Carroll County Police jurisdiction, any Carroll County School, and other locations. Hotline volunteers support and educate victims when they appear in court, at the hospital, at a police station and in school.
Individual & Group Counseling
This is most effective when it is a priority and done regularly. To meet with an agency therapist, an appointment is needed. Both day and evening therapy appointments are available. All therapy sessions are conducted at our office located in Westminster, MD. Funding limitations make it impossible for us to provide free counseling services for longer than six (6) months. If additional counseling is desired, local referrals can be made.
Short term therapy groups are available during designated months throughout the year. Pre-registration is required. The number of members in the group averages 6-8.
Groups meet one evening each week for 1-1/2 hours under the guidance of a licensed therapist to discuss issues such as trust, intimacy, family relationships, and anger associated with sexual assault. The group meets for 12 consecutive weeks and is closed to new members after the first week. This program is designed as a supplement to individual counseling, but is not mandatory. A contribution of $7 per session is suggested from each participant per session, but is not required.
We are committed to treating our clients with dignity, respect, equality and professional expertise. To make the most of the counseling services available from our agency, clients should plan to:
- attend sessions regularly and be on time
- communicate honestly with your therapist
- make a determined effort to follow the exercises designed to help you with your pain
- cooperate with agency policies regarding scheduling appointments and cancellations
- give counseling and your healing process the priority it deserves in your life.
For more information or to schedule a therapy session, please contact the RCIS office at 410-857-0900.
Please see other links throughout this website for more information about sexual violence.
Information and Referrals
Rape Crisis Intervention Service is located in Westminster, Maryland and anyone may receive services at the center. If you reside in a distant area, we may be able to provide you with referrals for services closer to your residence. Please call 410-857-0900 for a referral.
For more information about sexual violence or Rape Crisis, please visit the rest of our website or call our office at 410-857-0900.