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40-Hour Volunteer Training: November 2020

| Download Training Schedule |

ZCenter seeks to be an active presence in the community to speak up in support of and in partnership with all survivors of sexual violence. ZCenter provides services to the community at large and to other professionals and service providers to enhance the understanding of the impact of sexual violence on everyone. Our services include 24/7 crisis intervention offered through a Helpline, Medical Advocacy and Legal Advocacy; Prevention and Community Education, Professional Development and Counseling services. Our services are offered at no costs for persons impacted by sexual assault/abuse throughout Lake and North Cook County.

Volunteer Opportunities

1. Advocacy Volunteer – Provide medical advocacy at local ERs, respond to hotline calls, provide legal advocacy through court or education or support services.

2. Prevention and Outreach – Provide sexual violence awareness, prevention-education and capacity building for youth, parents, educators, practitioners and community sectors. Services provided in schools, resource fairs, human services organizations, civic organizations and business.

3. Development – Assist with special events, marketing, grant research and writing, social media.

4. Administrative – General office help, special projects, Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities.

5. Volunteer Therapist: seeing and providing counseling services to survivors of sexual abuse or significant others.

6. Board of Directors Membership: agency governance, involves monthly meetings and
committee work. Contact Executive Director directly if interested.

Be In Action

We were ready. We were ready to have lunch with you. We were ready to connect with you, and laugh with you, and get into a bidding war with you.

We were ready to tell you we provided prevention education to over 13,000 students in Lake County last year. We were ready to tell you we provided direct client sessions to over 1,000 survivors; 40% of them children. We were ready to tell you that our volunteer base has surpassed 100 individuals contributing their personal time to our ever challenging mission.

We were ready to share our new education curriculum that creates new school leaders and includes parental training. We were ready to introduce you to our new professional staff, further expanding our capacity to serve clients directly. We were ready to tell you that we renovated our children’s art therapy studios.

We were ready to be inspired by the trauma and triumph from our keynote speaker, and our brave survivor telling his story of healing at ZCenter. We were ready to ask for your generosity to make our 18th Annual Luncheon the most successful yet.

And then COVID-19 happened and we are all wondering, what now?

Now we counsel clients remotely. Now we call clients at their homes and connect through confidential video conferencing. Now the counseling team reads informational books together and connects virtually to review client cases.

Now we create presentations and stories to share with students through e-learning. Now we train teachers and parents about how to safely talk to youth during this difficult time.

Now we call survivors while they wait for care in an ER exam room because we cannot be there to hold their hands. Now our 24-hour support line assists clients struggling with difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

Many of you have asked us how you can help during this time…

You can sponsor a table at the luncheon we wanted to have. You and your friends can buy tickets to the event where you were looking forward to networking with colleagues. You can donate in any capacity that you are able.

You have been here for us in the past, and now we ask that you please stick with us during this critical time for what would have been our 18th Annual Luncheon. Show your support for survivors of sexual violence.

Last year, your sponsorships, tickets, and generous donations raised $148,000.

It is a difficult time, and we challenge you, we compel you, we ask you to support the prevention, the advocacy, the crisis counseling, the new trauma and the old. We cannot allow this invisible perpetrator to steal our resources and continue to abuse our families.

Thank you, dear friends, for taking action – our ask is urgent and real. Our doors may be shut, but we are forever open for survivors and those they love. We miss you; miss the hugs, the familiarity, the knowing, and the shared passion for our cause.

Torrie & Team
Torrie Flink
Executive Director

Please reply to our ask by filling out and returning the accompanying form or by making a direct donation today at ZCenter.org/donate


Solidarity Statement

Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center upholds our mission, ‘To provide a place where survivors of sexual assault and abuse can heal, and to mobilize the community toward action to end sexual violence,’ which encompasses an understanding that sexual violence is a personal, community and societal issue, impacted greatly by systems of oppression, particularly racial oppression.
Our culturally responsive service delivery model, personalized entry processes for accessing services, strategic outreach to underserved communities, and activism on a policy level, are driven by ZCenter’s mission and commitment to ending racism and promoting social justice. Our free Prevention, Advocacy, Crisis Intervention and Counseling services are provided in the spirit of equality, free from judgment or oppression. We believe that all the people we serve are entitled to respect, accessible services, privacy, empowerment, and advocacy.

As we witness the injustices of the death of George Floyd and so many Black lives, through individual and systemic racism, let us never forget the meaning of this moment and the history that brought us here. Our Rape Crisis Movement began through the activism of women of color, whose kin have endured centuries of pandemic racism.

ZCenter stands in solidarity with individuals and organizations who courageously work to dismantle racism and racist systems that cause destruction to African American communities.

ZCenter reaffirms our commitment to embrace a larger view of what a world free from violence in all its forms can look like.

We commit to bearing witness to the feelings and needs of our coworkers, clients, loved ones and neighbors.

We commit to ongoing learning, dialogue, and social justice activism to impact individual and systemic oppression.

We commit to providing culturally inclusive and equitable services for our communities of color, our LGBTQ+ community, and other underserved groups.

We commit to upholding the worth and dignity of all who are impacted by racial and social injustices.

We commit to partnering with community-based organizations, criminal justice systems, schools, health care and faith systems, to collectively address issues of service inequities and community needs.

We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.

UPDATE: ZCenter Race to Zero

With your generous support we raised almost $42,000! Though we couldn’t be together to run, your ongoing donations remind survivors they are not alone. Thank you for your generosity, looking forward to next year’s race!


UPDATE: BE IN ACTION – 18th Annual Luncheon

It is with the health of the community in mind that ZCenter has decided not host our 18th Annual luncheon this year.

Please consider making a donation as our services have not stopped during the coronavirus pandemic.


ZCenter Coronovirus Update

The health and safety of our employees and clients is of great concern to ZCenter. We are following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control, and are taking proactive steps to implement additional health safety measures in our office to best prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

  • 24/7 Support Line has increased capacity to anticipate a higher volume of callers 847-872-7799
  • Counseling Services will be provided via telehealth measures and will be determined based on what is in the best interest of our clients. All telehealth measures will be confidential.
  • Medical Advocacy services will be provided through expanded education and referral resources provided to Lake County hospitals. In cooperation with our SANE partners, our 24/7 Medical advocacy services will be provided via telehealth to survivors who elect to have supportive contact with ZCenter advocates during their hospital intervention.
  • Community-based services, i.e. professional training, community and prevention-education will resume when applicable per CDC and governmental guidelines.
  • Our response to client services, as well as volunteer and internship inquiries, will continue via phone or telehealth communication.

Download: ZCenter Announcement

Let’s Paint!

Miss Lake County Area 2019 invites you to: LET’S PAINT!

February 8th, 2020 | 1:30-3:30 pm | Zion Methodist Church, 2935 Sheridan Rd.. Zion, IL

We will be painting canvases and putting together self care packages for survivors of sexual abuse


View “Let’s Paint!” Flyer

‘What’s love got to do with it? Practical Interventions for Survivors of Sexual Trauma’ ~ for Holistic Practitioners

Monday, January 27th, 2020, 9am-1pm

Zacharias Center, 4275 Old Grand Ave. Gurnee

Join Lovelight Practitioners in this very special training offered by Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center. Learn ways to understand and help your clients/patients who have been through sexual assault & abuse. This training was created as a partnership between Lovelight Health Center and Zacharias Center to support Holistic Healthcare Practitioners’ capacity to support survivors of sexual trauma.

TO REGISTER: Respond to facebook event, or contact ZCenter @ vwalker@zcenter.org.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/859702084488436/

Resources will be available electronically for participants. Refreshments are provided.

FEE: $40 donation made directly to Zacharias Center ON THE DAY AT THE EVENT. Questions – please email Valerie Walker, Director of Services at Zacharias Center, vwalker@zcenter.org. Space is limited; please RSVP early.

This Professional Development event is a program within ZCenter’s ‘Zacharias Education Network’, which provides professional training to practitioners, educators, therapists and first responders.

Outline of Topics Overview of Sexual Violence

Impacts of Surviving Sexual Abuse

  • The Mental Health Continuum & the Brain
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Determinants of Well-Being

Trauma Informed Practice

  • Healing Factors
  • Creating Safe Spaces & Relationships

Empowering  Survivors

  • Crisis Response
  • Accessing Resources & Services

Trauma Stewardship

  • Secondary Trauma
  • Moving from Self Care to Community Care


Download Flyer

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