Sexual Assault

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You Don't Have To Be Alone...We're Here To Help

The Victim Assistance Program implemented the Rape Crisis component in 1997. The program was the first of its kind in Erie County. Several agencies recognized the unique needs of sexual assault survivors, but the implementation of this program continues to ensure that the needs of the victim are addressed from the time of reporting to the hospital/SANE site, through prosecution, if charges are filed.

Program staff and volunteers are on-call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to respond and support the sexual assault victim and her/his family during the emotional time of the initial report.

To further respond to the needs of victims, in 1999 the Program began the development of the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)/SART (Sexual Assault Response Team, which includes the nurse, advocate, law enforcement officer, and prosecutor). In 2000, the local Sexual Assault Committee invited agencies from Ottawa and Huron Counties to assist us in our mission to support victims of sexual assault while combining limited resources. The Mission Statement of the Tri-County Sexual Assault Advisory Committee is as follows: The goal of the Tri-County Sexual Assault Advisory Committee has been established to explore the feasibility of implementing a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program and a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team). In order to most effectively utilize funds, we are seeking ways in which to coordinate services and resources to benefit victims of sexual assault.

A SANE is a forensic nurse who conducts evidentiary exams (rape kit) for sexual assault cases. The primary function of the SANE is to provide an objective forensic evaluation of victims of sexual assault. They work closely with victim advocates and law enforcement in this process, which is the purpose of establishing a team.

We offer community and school presentations providing information regarding sexual assault, prevention techniques, and steps to take following a sexual assault.

Check your local library or bookstore for the following books.

Adams, C. and Fay, J. (1995). Helping Your Child Recover from Sexual Abuse. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Alexander, Debra Whiting. (1999). Children Changed By Trauma: A Healing Guide. New Harbinger Publications. (Provides a basic understanding of trauma, how it affects children and how to help children overcome the effects of trauma).

Bass, Ellen & Davis, Laura. (1988). The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Harper & Row.

Case, Joyce and Hagan, Kathryn. (1988). When your Child Has Been Molested: A Parent's Guide to Healing and Recovery. New York: Lexington Books. (A basic, easy to understand, reference for care givers. This book offers a general overview of the system and the professionals you may come in contact with. It covers reactions from the child, the family, the community and how to address these issues.)

De Becker, Gavin. (1999). Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane). New York: Random Press. Also, The Gift of Fear (Offers practical advice for parents and children on staying safe).

Gil, Eliana (1995) A Guide for Parents of Children Who Molest. Rockville, MD: Launch Press.

Hunter, Mic. (1990). Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse. Ballantine Books. (The author clarifies male sexual abuse and discusses the prevalence of this abuse as well as the effect this has on males. Victims offer first-hand accounts of their experience.)

Myers, John E. (1997). A Mother's Nightmare - Incest: A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals. CA: Sage Publications. (Comprehensive, easy to understand information concerning all aspects of child abuse.)

Van Dam, Carla (2000). Identifying Child Molesters: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse by Recognizing the Patterns of the Offenders. NY: Hayworth Press.

Wiklund, Patricia (1995). Sleeping with a Stranger: How I Survived Marriage to a Child Molester.

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