Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP) - Services Offered
VASAP can help if you become a victim of crime, including rape or sexual assault. The following services are available to victims of crime, their family and significant others.
- 24-hour telephone and walk-in crisis counseling, information, and referral.
- 24-hour crisis outreach counseling services for victims of sexual assault at hospitals and police stations.
- Individual and group counseling, by appointment.
- Psychiatric evaluation, treatment, and consultation.
- Support groups for surviving family and friends of homicide and vehicular homicide victims.
- Assistance through the criminal justice system, including support and accompaniment during legal procedures and collaboration with the police, state's attorney's office, and other county agencies upon client request.
- Assistance in applying to the Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and coordination of the claim with the Board.
- Compensation for income-eligible victims from the Montgomery County Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.
- Anonymous third party reporting of rape and sexual offenses to the Montgomery County Police Department upon client request.
- Educational programs on victim rights, sexual assault/rape, crime prevention for professionals and community groups.
VASAP offers the following specialized groups. An assessment interview will be arranged to determine readiness for group. Coordination with current treatment providers is essential. Potential group members should call VASAP at 240-777-1355.
- Adult Sexual Assault Support Group: This group meets for eight-week sessions to provide a supportive, understanding, and trusting environment in which victims of sexual assault/attempted sexual assault will have an opportunity to examine and process the effects of the assault, both on themselves and others. Members must be over 18 years of age when the assault occurred.
- Adult Homicide/DWI Survivors Group: This group provides a safe environment for group members to begin to come to terms with the reality of their loss in the company of others who have experienced a similar loss. The goals of the group are to familiarize group members with the impact of violence on their grief experience, explain and normalize individual stress responses to traumatic loss, predict the course of grief and help members understand and accept its variability, and to start the slow journey to recovery providing opportunity for individual follow-up and contact with individual therapeutic staff.
- Adult Victims of Crime Stress Management Group: This group is offered to all VASAP adult clients. There are a total of six sessions designed to teach five relaxation techniques: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, affirmations and dance/movement.
- Child and Adolescent Group: This group is offered at select Montgomery County Public Schools as well as at VASAP, as needed.
The goals of the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program are:
- To ensure that professional and volunteer services are made available to all victims.
- To encourage the establishment of formalized procedures and sensitive treatment of victims within the medical community and criminal justice system.
- To develop each citizen's awareness of the threat that sexual assault and general crime imply within our community.
- To increase the conviction rate of assailants and thereby decrease the number of sexual assaults and general crime by providing professional, volunteer, and advocacy services to victims.