You Are Not the Only One
In the United States, there are an estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse. An estimated 30 percent of victims of sexual abuse do not report the abuse. While on the Internet, one in five children are solicited sexually. (Darkness to Light)
In Connecticut, 14 percent of the state's residents endured childhood sexual assault. According to the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS), one in five girls (18 percent) and one in 14 boys (7 percent) have been victims of child sexual abuse. Children ages seven to 13 are most vulnerable to child sexual assault or abuse.
Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS) is a statewide coalition of individual sexual assault crisis programs. CONNSACS works to end sexual violence through victim assistance, community education, and public policy advocacy.
CONNSACS offers a statewide sexual assault crisis hotline - 888-999-5545 / 888-568-8332 (Español) that connects you to the sexual assault crisis center nearest you. A counselor/advocate is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and offer support, as well as to provide information and resources to help best decide what to do next. All services are free and confidential.
The Office of Victim Services (OVS), Connecticut Judicial Branch, is the state's lead agency established to provide services to victims of violent crime. The offices of Victim's Services offers:
- Crime Victim Compensation
- Court-based Victim Services Advocates
- Toll-free Helpline
- Victim Notification
- Services for Families of Homicide Victims
- Funding to Community-based Non-profit Agencies
- Community Education and Training on Victims' Rights and Services
- Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE)
OVS also contracts with non-profit and public organizations to provide services to crime victims. These services include, but are not limited to, information and referral, criminal justice support/advocacy, therapy, safety planning, group treatment/support, personal advocacy and assistance in filing applications for victim compensation.
The Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA), as an independent state agency, works to protect and promote the Constitutional rights of crime victims in Connecticut. The OVA monitors and evaluates the provision of services to crime victims and works to advance policies throughout the state that promote the fair and just treatment of crime victims throughout the criminal justice system. The existence of the OVA provides oversight and advocacy when the criminal justice system fails crime victims. The OVA remains committed to ensuring that the voices of crime victims play a central role in Connecticut's response to violence and to those victimized by crime. Further, the OVA is dedicated to promoting awareness to Connecticut citizens as to the services available to crime victims through outreach, education and public service events.
OVA can be reached at (860) 550-6632 / Toll Free (CT) 888-771-3126
What does the Office of the Victim Advocate do?
- Monitors services provided to crime victims by state agencies and private entities.
- The OVA receives and investigates victims' complaints regarding their treatment in the criminal justice process including but not limited to the following examples:
- Complaints against law enforcement agencies
- Victim Compensation
- Court-based and non-profit advocates
- The Judge
- The Prosecutor
- The OVA can intervene in court cases to advocate for a victim when the victim's rights have been violated.
- The OVA can make recommendations to the legislature, criminal justice professionals and victim service providers for changes in state policies and laws to benefit crime victims.
- The OVA provides education and outreach about services available to the public.