Our History

On a bright summer day in 1977, a violent rape occurred on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Witnesses called an ambulance, which took the girl to the Emergency Department at St. Luke’s Hospital.  Her physical injuries were manageable, but psychologically she was destroyed.  The doctors transferred her to the Psychiatric Emergency Department, not knowing what else to do.  Soon after her medical treatment was completed, she was discharged.  She  was never heard from again.
The community was outraged.

Within a day, two Emergency Department social workers, a doctor, and several members of the Upper West Side community sat down around a long table.  A steering committee was formed, protocols were developed, and a promise was made that never again would a survivor of sexual assault be treated that way at St. Luke’s Hospital.  The Crime Victims Treatment Center was born.

Since its inception, CVTC has remained a pioneer in the treatment of survivors of violent crime.  Organizations and practitioners around the world look to CVTC as a model for the treatment of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Over the years, CVTC has contributed in a substantial way to the evolution of laws, policies and public perception of rape, domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse.  At a time when no one was talking about these issues, CVTC was fighting to push through legislation that would protect the rights and dignity of the people who had survived these horrific crimes.