Posted by rpjr on Feb 08, 2018
The many #MeToo stories in the news have made Thursday’s presentation from Northwest Casa (Center Against Sexual Assault) all the more pertinent.  Rebecca Navickis, community support activist there, described the Center’s local programs and gave poignant insight into the impact of that abuse.  Our club has given the Center a grant. 
The Center has been dealing with the issue here since 1976 when it was founded as a volunteer hotline by graduates of Northwestern University.  CASA now has offices in Arlington Heights, Evanston and Crystal Lake providing services which include counseling, advocacy, crisis intervention, and education.   Some situations where advocacy comes into play -- a victim being sent home from the hospital in only a hospital gown after filing a rape kit, or having victim's investigation photos taken in the hospital waiting room. 
To read more about this moving and important program, and one of the unique techniques in counseling, click Read More...
That Advocacy at the hospital entails speaking up for the traumatized patient, supplying replacement clothing for that taken as part of a rape kit investigation, and giving the victim options.  An example given about counseling was the Clothesline Project -- abuse victims write on T-shirts and express what happened and how it has affected them.  These shirts are then displayed, acknowledging that the clients are survivors, not simply victims.  They also are one of the first ways to express the feelings.  7 shirts as very moving examples were passed around the room.
Services are 100% free, funded by individuals and organizations including our club.  Other fund raising includes an upcoming 40-year anniversary Casino Night dinner (details are below), a link for registration is .  Another event has men walking a mile in high heels along the lake front.
  • 25% of victims are under 18
  • Casa serves 12 area hospitals; its volunteers can be called and are available 24/7.
  • Only 30% of rapes are reported, and only 5% result in a conviction.  When ask why the conviction rate is so low, she said in our legal system, there’s the presumption of innocence and the case often turns into a “he said, she said” situation.
  • They served 210 victims at hospitals last year, 9 of whom were Arlington residents.
  • 325 intervention phone calls, 23 from Arlington Heights.
  •  275 counseling clients last year, 27 from Arlington Heights.
  • Training and education efforts reached 26,000 professionals and members of the public last year and also dealt with bullying and sexual harassment.  23,500 students were reach last year, including 12,000 from Arlington.
Northwest Casa  and Rebecca’s contact information is: Rebecca Navickis, Northwest Casa (Center Against Sexual Assault), Community Support Activist, 415 West Golf Road – Suite 47, Arlington Heights, Il  60005.  847-806-6526 x12,    24/7 Crisis Hotline is 888-802-8890.