Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Survivors of Sexual Assault Receive Support from Community Foundation

On Wednesday, June 27th, Anne Digenis and Kristen Turek from the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington presented a $10,000 grant to support the YWCA Clark County’s Sexual Assault Program. The funds will support approximately 245 hours of life-saving advocacy to approximately 30 individuals directly affected by sexual assault, and their families.

YWCA’s Sexual Assault Program is the only program in our community offering free, 24-hour advocacy for individuals affected by sexual assault. Last year, 1,124 community members found support through the program, but this number only represents those who reported the crime. According to the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, approximately 84% of rapes are not reported. This means that many more individuals live in fear in our community.

Sexual assault is a traumatizing and violent crime with severe consequences for the victim, the family and the community. Some of these consequences include post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, sleep disorders, eating disorders and suicide. With proper support, victims are able to successfully navigate through the medical exams, police reports and court proceedings so that they are not re-victimized or suffer secondary trauma.

YWCA Clark County is especially grateful to the Community Foundation for recognizing and responding to this need. Because of this generous grant, YWCA Clark County can continue providing medical advocacy, child & family advocacy, legal advocacy, and peer to peer support to those affected by sexual assault.

For more information about supporting YWCA, please contact Shawna Burkholder, Director of Development and Communications, at sburkholder@ywcaclarkcounty.org

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