At the Sexual Violence Center, it is our mission to eradicate sexual violence and abuse by:
Challenging the systems and individuals that promote privilege, 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.
Since 1985, the Sexual Violence Center has been serving youth and adult victim/survivors of sexual violence 12 years of age and older. We work in Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties, with services coordinated out of our office in Minneapolis. We will never turn anyone away from service if they live outside of these counties, but can often refer people to a local agency that has connections with more specific resources to help.
Who We Are
At the Sexual Violence Center, all of our services are provided by sexual assault advocates. The role of an advocate is to provide information, offer options and support victims and survivors in their decisions. It is up to you to determine which paths are best to take. You are your own best expert. You possess the power to define your own healing process. The advocate is in the role of facilitator. By sharing knowledge, giving choices, and acting as a liaison to various points in the system, our advocates are here to empower you.
The ultimate goal of a sexual assault advocate is to provide enough support so that eventually you will no longer need the advocate's help. The advocate fosters an environment of independence, so you gain confidence in your choices and begin to trust your own decisions and advocate for yourself.
More and more Minnesotans every year turn to us during one of the worst times in their lives. We meet them with a range of services to get them through the crisis and trauma caused by sexual violence, including:
24-hour crisis support telephone line staffed by our 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: we are there for victims of sexual assault throughout their evidentiary examinations,
Legal advocacies through which we advocate that victim/survivors have the resources they need to file restraining orders, navigate the criminal justice system and get connected to legal representation.
Systems change: We coordinate the Hennepin County SMARTeam, the Carver County SAIC team, and the Scott County SART. These teams bring together members of law enforcement, prosecutors, government agencies and social service agencies who are engaged in supporting people after assault. The teams are charged with improving the criminal justice response and support services available for victims.
Education and Training:
Training for volunteer sexual assault advocates
Three times a year, we offer a 40-hour training that prepares volunteer advocates to provide direct service support to victim/survivors of sexual violence in accordance with Minnesota State Statute §595.02(k).
Training for professionals
SVC provides training on sexual violence to professionals in medical, legal, educational, human service, law enforcement, and correctional facilities.
If you are looking for support outside of Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties, visit http://rapehelpmn.org/ to find an advocacy service near you.