Did you know every 92 seconds an American is sexually assaulted? Are you aware that over 90 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows?
With recent sexual assault headlines in Emporia and throughout the country, SOS Inc. wants people to know SOS advocates are here to support victims with free and confidential services. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), sexual violence can be any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another, including unwanted touching of a sexual nature such as kissing, fondling, oral sex, or intercourse.
SOS Crisis Services has 15 advocates who work in the six-county area: Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, and Osage Counties. Advocates serve adult and child victims of sexual assault and domestic violence by offering emotional support, presenting them with options, and assisting victims with access to community resources, such as therapy. Advocacy services can also include help navigating the processes and systems within medical services, law enforcement, and prosecution. SOS services are available regardless of the circumstances of the assault, whether the victim chooses to involve law enforcement or not, and at any time following the assault - even years after.
Advocates can respond to aid victims immediately after a sexual assault, as well as helping those who are experiencing past trauma. As offered by Jen Ogleby, Sexual Assault Advocate with SOS, “Those feelings can only be masked for so long before they come back in other ways,” she said. “Healing is…a very personal thing. There is no correct way or timeline.”
“The only things that need to be said to someone disclosing that they have been assaulted are, ‘I believe you,’ ‘I am sorry this happened to you,’ and ‘This was not your fault,’” Ogleby said. “Those statements can be the difference between a survivor trying to numb those feelings in potentially destructive ways or finding the strength and power within themselves to not allow that horrific moment to define the rest of their lives.”
Victims of sexual assault are more likely to experience emotional challenges than non-victims, according to RAINN.
· Sexual assault victims are nearly 4 times more likely to experience PTSD as adults.
· Victims of sexual assault are about 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults.
· Only about 2 percent of all sexual assault accusations reported to the police turn out to be false.
· Only 230 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police. That means about 3 out of 4 go unreported.
· 93 percent of sexual assaults are committed by somebody the victim knows.
SOS services are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The SOS 24-hour helpline is available at 620-342-1870 or toll-free 800-825-1295.