What is CARES?
CARES is an after-hours service supporting RIT students. A group of trained and dedicated volunteers are available 24-hours a day to respond to RIT students that have been impacted by sexual assault, harassment, relationship violence and/or stalking.
A CARES team member is available to provide information, support, and advocacy by phone and in person. To speak with a confidential CARES advocate:
- Call 585-475-2261 during business hours
- Call or text 585-295-3533 after business hours and on weekends
Who does CARES serve?
The service is available to any RIT student that has been impacted by sexual assault, harassment, relationship violence and/or stalking. CARES is a gender-inclusive resource. Women, men, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are encouraged to call the hotline for support.
You do not need to file a Public Safety report to receive assistance from CARES. If you decide to file a report with Public Safety, CARES is there.
Interpreters are available to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing community members are served in a timely manner.
Where does the CARES team travel in order to provide support?
The CARES Team can be contacted by phone to provide support and information at any time, day or night. A team member meets with any RIT student who is considering making a report to Public Safety and travels to the Public Safety Department to accompany them. A team member may also travel to another safe location on campus if a student is in a crisis related to an incident of sexual assault, harassment, relationship violence and/or stalking and would like a CARES team member present but isn’t comfortable involving Public Safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Public Safety called someone from CARES. Do I have to talk to them?
No. The CARES team member is there to support you. Public Safety calls in a CARES advocate whenever an incident involving sexual assault, harassment, relationship violence and/or stalking occurs. If having them there makes you uncomfortable, feel free to decline services. However, keep in mind that an advocate is immeasurable during a crisis and can ensure that you are fully informed of your rights, which will allow you to make informed decisions.
- I don’t want to make a report to Public Safety. Can I still use CARES?
Yes. We understand it is often difficult to focus and make clear decisions while dealing with a crisis. CARES team members are there to support you and will not pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do. We are there to make sure you are aware of your rights, know what services are available to you and to support you in an understanding, non-judgmental manner.
- I agreed to meet with a CARES team member. What happens next?
After a CARES team member meets with you, they complete a form that is submitted to a clinician. This counselor will contact you soon after with information about additional services. You may accept or decline services and may discontinue any services at any time.
- I’m Deaf. Can CARES help me?
Yes, our services are accessible to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing. Individuals can call or text the CARES number, as interpreters are available.
- What about privacy? If I work with CARES, who has access to my information?
The CARES team will ensure your privacy by keeping all information confidential. Any information you decide to share will be only accessible to the team.
- I am not in danger or crisis right now. I just need to talk about what happened to me. Will CARES help me?
Absolutely! The 24-hour hotline is available for support and we encourage calls.
- I called the CARES hotline during the day and was told to go to the Counseling and Psychological Services office. Why?
During regular business hours, a staff member from Counseling and Psychological Services is available to assist you. During the evening, weekends, breaks and holidays, a CARES team member will respond to hotline calls.
- I am not the only person involved in this incident. Does CARES help the other person(s) involved as well?
CARES Team members advocate for the identified Survivor/complainant in a case. We do not advocate for or serve the accused identified offender. Advocates who assist offenders are available from other sources here at RIT. Although anyone involved in a case has the right to an advocate, CARES strictly serves survivors.
- Who are the CARES Team Members?
Frank Thomas Rechichi
Karen Van Meenen
md Abdullah al Faruque
- Where can I find additional resources in the community?
(Sexual Assault, Harassment, Relationship Violence and Stalking)
RESTORE - Sexual Assault Awareness - 585-546-2777/ www.ppcwny.org
Willow Domestic Violence Center - 585-232-5200/ WillowCenterNY.org
IGNITE - 585-286-2713 V/VP/ www.deafignite.org
Out Alliance - 585-244-8640/ firstname.lastname@example.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline for Women and Men - 1-800-799-7233/1-800-787-3224 TTY/ www.thehotline.org
The Trevor Project for LGBTQ+ youth - 1-866-488-7386/ www.thetrevorproject.org