Behind the Scenes
Here at Abuse & Rape Crisis Center, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 1979, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our agency upon: support, empowerment, and change. Learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see.
A Grassroots Intervention
Incorporated in 1979, as the Towanda Area Women's Center, a few women from the AAUW recognized the need for services in our rural community. Women who were trying to leave abusive relationships had no safe place to turn or support to help them start over. The agency was created as a response. As time passed new services were added to include sexual abuse victims and survivors. The name changed as well in recognition of ALL victims and survivors.
In 1987, the name was officially changed to the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (ARCC). ARCC provides services that are free and confidential to all of Bradford County. Services continue to expand to meet the changing and challenging needs of our clients and community.
ARCC exists to end interpersonal violence.
This is the core driving force behind all of our decisions and strategic planning. We work with those who have been or who are victims and survivors of interpersonal violence. And we commit to providing awareness and educational programs that are focused on preventing perpetration of violence.
Our vision is to ensure safe, healthy, productive lives for residents of Bradford County.
Our community is unique and full of amazing, caring people. We also have our share of challenges and families living in poverty. With your help and support, we are able to address the needs of our community to enrich everyone lives.
Our work will be guided and informed by our beliefs and commitments to: Empowerment- we respect people, value diversity and are committed to equality and autonomy.
ARCC provides a safe space for adults and children to begin emotional and physical healing from interpersonal violence. It is the obligation of all ARCC members, staff, and volunteers to safeguard and keep confidential all client and volunteer information.
Whether it is when we are out in the community, answering a hotline call, or proving an awareness program, we often hear the same questions or comments. Here are some of the most common, please feel free to contact us with other questions as well.
Do you provide services for men?
Yes. Men and boys are victims too and have every right to their own healing journey. It is estimated that 1 in 6 males have been sexually abused and 1 in 7 men, over 18, have been the victim of severe physical violence in their lifetime.
Men, including transgender men, may receive all the services that we provide to vicitms/survivors.
I'm not in crisis right now, but I was abused in the past. Who can help me?
We can! We understand that healing from an abusive relationship or childhood abuse usually takes time. We are here to help, whether you had counseling or therapy in the past but still have triggers or whether you never talked about what happened to you before. We are here to listen, empower, and provide you with options.
Do you provide shelter for a person who is homeless?
No. Our funding and focus is on providing shelter for victims of domestic violence and their dependents. If you are homeless because of an abusive relationship, please call us to talk about your situation so that we may discuss options.
I would like to donate clothing, will you accept it?
Please call us. In most cases we have a limited amount of storage space. We are unable to accept much in the way of clothing donations, unless it was a specific request. We encourage you to donate to the Rainbow's End as they have always been supportive and work with our families in shelter.
Someone I care about is in an abusive relationship, can you help?
First - thank you for caring about their safety and seeking ways to help them! You are already doing one of the key steps to support them - you believe them!
Second, our philosophy is empowerment, we want to help your friend/family/co-worker/intimate partner/etc., but we need to hear from them directly. If they don't have access to a phone, let us know so that we can try to work out another way to safely communicate with them.
Why doesn't she/he just leave, why do they stay or go back?
Okay, this question, phrased this way is victim-blaming. It's important to know that there are many reasons why it's not so easy "just" to leave, here are some: love, financial stability, access to transportation, a person has been isolated and has no other support system, shame, low or no self-esteem, their children, threats of harm to them or their children if they leave, knowing the abuse will be 10 times worse if they leave but have to come back.
Let's stop the victim-blaming phrases though and flip the script. Let's start asking, why does the abusive partner have to abuse?
It's not really domestic violence if I don't have bruises, is it?
It is. Domestic violence includes emotional, mental, verbal, physical and sexual violence. It may be a combination or all of these that a person experiences. It may change over time as well and often there are periods of violence escalation as well as "honeymoon" phases.
Will I have to describe the sexual assault or abuse that happened to me, in detail?
No, it is your story and you control with who and what you decide to share. Our goal is to help you process the emotions, understand your options (legal and otherwise), develop coping skills, and begin (or continue) your healing journey.