For more than 33 years, Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center (ZCenter) has provided counseling, advocacy and prevention services to residents of the northern Illinois area. Through donations and corporate and foundation support, we have been able to provide these programs at no cost to the community.
In addition to our Gurnee and Skokie offices, we offer individual and group counseling sessions in numerous high schools in the area.
We address a critical problem in our community. According to the Illinois Department of Justice, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will face abuse before their 18th birthday, and the average child discloses the abuse to seven people before (s)he is believed. In fact, many of the adults we see in our counseling program are coming to us for the first time after living with the shame and guilt of sexual abuse that happened in their childhood. Through providing crisis intervention and response to survivors in the immediate aftermath of an abusive situation and preventative education to reduce children’s risk of ever becoming a victim, the ZCenter staff and volunteers invest their time and energy to heal and protect survivors of rape and abuse.
As the only rape crisis center in Lake County, and one of the largest in the country, we know what the Center for Disease Control has said is true: Sexual assault and abuse is a public health issue! ZCenter staff works tirelessly to first: prevent it from happening; second: counsel victims; and third: advocate on behalf of survivors.