The Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center (SARCC), recognizing the impact of sexual assault on all individuals, families, and communities, counsels and support clients, advocates for the rights of victims and educates for the elimination of sexual assault.
From 1983-1985, victims of sexual violence in Lebanon County were served by local volunteers working with the Harrisburg Rape Crisis Center. Because the number of clients was sufficient to justify a separate service provider, an independent organization was chartered in Lebanon County. In 2009, SARCC expanded geographically into Schuylkill County at the request of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR.) SARCC is the sole provider of sexual assault services in Lebanon and Schuylkill Counties.
What kind of services do you provide?
A. We provide a comprehensive range of services including 24-hour hotline counseling; support groups; victim advocacy; community education; prevention education in schools (from pre-school through college) and volunteer training. All SARCC services to individuals are confidential. Any disclosure of information is made only with the knowledge and permission of the clients. Exceptions to this policy includes suspected child abuse, life-saving or life threatening emergencies.
Q. Do you operate a shelter or safe house?
A. No. Such services are provided by other organizations such as homeless shelters and domestic violence programs.
Q. Do you counsel clients to have abortions if they get pregnant through a sexual assault?
A. No. If clients have questions about pregnancy, birth control or other related issues, we refer them to their doctor or agencies that provide this type of counseling.
Q. Who are your clients?
A. SARCC provides its services to all survivors of sexual assault and their significant others (i.e., parents, siblings, spouses, friends.) Our clients are primarily female (about 75%). One-fourth of our clients are children, who range in age from 18 months to 17 years.
Q. How large is your staff? Do you use volunteers?
A. SARCC services are provided by 14 full-time and part-time staff members and about 40 volunteers. The staff handles all day-to-day operations, providing service to clients and assuring compliance with all program, administrative and fiscal standards to ensure quality of service.
Volunteers help handle the hotline during hours when the office is closed (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the following morning and on week-ends and holidays); a staff back-up person is assigned to each volunteer on duty. Volunteers also co-facilitate group counseling sessions; speak to community organizations or school groups and assist with fund-raising and administrative duties.
Q. What kind of funding do you get?
A. SARCC receives funding from a variety of public and private sources. SARCC is eligible for continuing funding from the Department of Public Welfare through the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. In addition, SARCC consistently receives funds from the United Way and from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency through the Victims of Crime Act.
Q. What fees do you charge?
A. All of our services are provided free of charge. Clients and significant others may receive up to 15 hours of counseling, including private and group counseling. Donations are accepted.
Q. How much training do your counselors have? What about your volunteers?
A. All of our staff members and our volunteers have received 40 hours of training and are certified as Sexual Assault Counselors. Our staff counselors typically have a BA degree in social work, psychology or a related subject. We also provide on-going training to both staff and volunteers.
Q. How long has SARCC been in operation?
A. From 1983-1985, victims of sexual violence in Lebanon County were served by local volunteers working with the Harrisburg Rape Crisis Center. Because the number clients was sufficient to justify a separate service provider, an independent organization was chartered in Lebanon County in 1985 and 2009 in Schuylkill County and designated by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) as the sole provider of sexual assault services. SARCC is still the only provider of sexual assault services in both counties to receive PCAR/DPW funding.
Q. What geographic area do you serve?
A. We serve all of Lebanon County and Schuylkill Counties and occasionally have a few clients from neighboring counties, especially Berks County and Dauphin County.
Q. How do you get referrals?
A. Clients are referred to us by friends or family and from a variety of other sources, including local hospitals, therapists, police and courts. We also receive referrals from RAINN, a national referral service that typically offers its toll-free number at the end of television shows that feature sexual assault issues.
Q. How are you governed?
A. As a non-profit agency, SARCC is governed by a Board of Directors who oversee the development and revision of SARCC's strategic plan and assist the Director in the development of financial plans to ensure the continuation of the agency. Board members also participate in a variety of committees and are actively involved in fund-raising activities.