April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and, clearly, raising public awareness is of great importance. Within the past thirty months, 388 sexual assault calls have been documented on the WCA’s 24-hour crisis line. Family Advocacy Center and Education Services (FACES) reports that SAFE nurses were called out 156 times for cases involving sexual assault. 135 sexual assault forensic exams were completed (a 17% increase over the prior year) and 21 sexual assault call outs had no exam. There has been a substantial change in the Idaho Statewide Crime Profile concerning rape. In 2014, it noted that a rape occurred every 19.4 hours, while in 2015 it had decreased to every 16.3 hours. Non-consensual sex offenses remained consistent at every 8.5 hours. In 2016, 49% of shelter residents were sexually abused as a child.
The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. A highly under reported crime, sexual violence can have psychological, emotional and physical effects on a survivor. Depression is common, post-traumatic stress disorder is typical and eating and/or sleep disorders may occur. Recovery from sexual assault is a process and it looks different for everyone.
For your information: The WCA facilitates a weekly support group, Circle of Support, for female survivors of sexual assault. It meets every Tuesday (at the WCA) from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. First time participants are asked to attend Sexual Assault Orientation which begins at 5 P.M. and ends at 5:30 P.M. The group is free of charge and childcare is available. For more information regarding the group, please call 208-343-3688.
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