Join us as we discuss the work of the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center — in terms of is legal and medical advocacy for survivors of sexual abuse or assault; its therapeutic counseling for the survivors; and its outreach to schools, churches, and other community organizations.
The Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center serves survivors of sexual assault and abuse and their non-offending significant others. The Zacharias Center has been around for 34 years and is located in Gurnee (telephone # (847) 244-1187), with an additional site in Skokie. The Gurnee site has been designed as a welcoming, safe space with the client’s needs in mind. The Center is a place where the survivor’s choices and their empowerment is paramount. There are 3 components to the services that the Center provides; advocacy, counseling and outreach.
Advocacy is provided to survivors in 3 areas; medical, legal and a 24/7 support phone line. The Center provides medical advocacy by serving all Lake County Emergency rooms when a sexual assault case is identified. An advocate will come to the hospital immediately when such a case is reported to support the survivor and provide information. Legal advocacy can also be provided by the Center and such services can include providing information and resources concerning any legal case and going to Court with the survivor, if requested. The Center also runs a 24/7 confidential support phone line that is staffed by a trained volunteer (support line telephone # (847) 872-7799). In fact, the Center is supported by great volunteer/advocates who undergo 40 hours of training and continuing education.
Counseling is another component of the Center’s services. Counseling is provided to any survivor or their significant other at both the Gurnee and Skokie sites. The Center has helped clients from age 3 to age 80. The Center provides client-centered counseling and offers an array of therapy including art and play therapy. There is no limit on the number of counseling sessions nor is there any charge for counseling.
Outreach, the third area of the Center’s services, involves teaching others and mobilizing the community to end sexual violence. Advocates from the Center educate individuals from preschool to adult about sexual assault and abuse in age-appropriate ways. Education includes understanding the issue of sexual violence, what to look for and how to respond to and support survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Educational presentations are also made to first responders (police, firefighter and medical personnel) as well as community groups including churches. Center advocates teach all people that they have the right to be safe, strong and free.
Robert Monahan, Esq. is a lawyer in Gurnee, IL with his own practice in personal injury. He has a radio show on Thursday nights at 7 pm, called “Everyday Law,” on WRLR 98.3 FM, where he tries to demystify the law for the ordinary person. “Everyday Law” can be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes or other various podcatchers. His two websites are www.monahanfirm.com and www.gurneepersonalinjuryattorney.com. He also has two Facebook pages – “Robert A. Monahan, Esq.” and “Everyday Law.”