Opinion: Rowan Center following mission
We are in truly unprecedented times, and there are so many urgent and pressing needs in our community and around the nation. At The Rowan Center, the sexual assault resource agency serving Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton, we have responded to the COVID-19 crisis as many other agencies and businesses have: we have shuttered our office and canceled our in-school education programs, and our staff are practicing social isolation to ensure our collective health and safety. But the problem of sexual violence persists and can be exacerbated during such times of strife, stress, and isolation.
The Rowan Center is still following our mission to provide crisis counseling and support services to victims of sexual abuse and assault, and to prevent sexual violence in our community through prevention education programs. Our website (www.therowancenter.org) and social media platforms are active and updated daily; we encourage the community to reach out to us in any way they are comfortable. Crisis counseling and 24-hour hotline services are fully staffed and ready to serve.
We are accepting new clients at this time: if you are suffering because of sexual violence committed against you or someone close to you, recently or in the past, please call our hotline at 203-329-2929 (English) or 888-568-8332 (Spanish) to get connected today. All services are free and confidential, and counseling sessions can be delivered over video chat or by phone.
For the time being, due to the crisis situation at local hospitals, we will provide real-time advocacy services over the phone to victims who present at the emergency rooms at Greenwich, Norwalk, and Stamford Hospitals. We encourage victims of assault to go to the ER for medical treatment; ER nurses and doctors will take every precaution to keep you safe.
And a final note to parents: please carefully monitor your children now that screen time has become so prevalent. A parent resource video explaining how to discuss sexting/screen safety with children is available on The Rowan Center YouTube channel.
As always, our hotline is open. You are not alone.
Mary Forman Flynn is executive director of The Rowan Center.