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Requesting Prosposals for Interpretation Services for Pennsylvania Rape Crisis Centers


The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. PCAR partners with a network of rape crisis programs to bring help, hope, and healing around issues of sexual violence to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PCAR assures that communities have access to quality victim services and prevention education by providing funding, training, materials, and assistance to a network of rape crisis centers that serve all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PCAR provides resources and training on sexual assault-related issues to professionals across the Commonwealth. PCAR promotes public policies that provide protections and services to victims of sexual violence, hold offenders accountable, enhance community safety, and works with media to increase public awareness, access to accurate information, and ethical reporting practices.

PCAR is seeking to partner with an organization to provide over-the-phone interpretation services for rape crisis programs across Pennsylvania to enhance the quality and accessibility of services to people who speak languages other than English. Approximately 10% of Pennsylvanians speak a primary language other than English.  Ensuring a coordinated statewide approach to providing services to victims of sexual violence who speak languages other than English will elevate the level of services and ensure that victims of sexual violence across the Commonwealth have access to advocacy services regardless of the primary language spoken. PCAR will also develop and provide online training for interpreters to increase knowledge of sexual violence and its impact, sensitive language considerations surrounding sexual violence and trauma, trauma-informed practices, and vicarious trauma. When using trained and qualified interpreters, victims of sexual violence will be guaranteed that the difficult topic of sexual assault will be accurately and compassionately interpreted.


We are seeking an organization that has an understanding of the importance of accurate interpretation with respect to cultural nuances of language and survivors’ trauma.  Additionally, preference will be given to interpreters that have experience with other social justice or public health issues, and interpreters who are able and willing to complete PCAR’s online training on interpretation considerations related to sexual violence.


  1. PCAR is looking for an interpretation company with interpreters that have prior experience interpreting for victims of crime and are able and willing to make PCAR’s online training available to staff.
  2. This project will require a significant amount of collaboration and PCAR seeks a partner that would be able to start this project by January 1, 2019.
  3. Require training on trauma, crisis response, sexual violence, safety, self-care, vicarious trauma (PCAR will provide this training)
  4. Confidentiality (language service does not collect identifying information during call)
  5. The ability to accurately interpret language that will include various terms, both clinical and slang, for body parts, sexual acts, and crimes.
  6. Interpreters must complete PCAR’s online training on trauma-informed interpretation and sexual violence.
  7. Medical and legal knowledge
  8. Legal certification/court interpretation preferred
  9. Bicultural interpreters preferred
  10. Experience interpreting for victims of crime preferred
  11. The ability to be able to choose interpreter gender preferred
  12. The ability to do language triage--identifying the language a person is speaking if the language can't be identified by the caller.


  1. Applicant name and/or agency and contact information.
  2. Describe relevant training, expertise, and experience related to interpreting for victims of crime.
  3. Proposals should account for over-the-phone interpretation, video interpretation, monthly invoices that include number of minutes, language spoken, user id or access codes per call.
  4. List specific work you have conducted with a similar focus and provide three examples of previous work. References from previous clients that work with victims of trauma and/or crime are strongly encouraged.
  5. Describe your policies and procedures for ensuring confidentiality.
  6. Detail the estimated cost for interpretation services.


Proposals are to be submitted electronically to the following:

Damary Rodriguez, Language Access Coordinator 717-909-0710 ext. 129.


To be considered, proposals must be received by close of business, October 12, 2018. Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by November 9, 2018.


This project is contingent upon contract award to PCAR.