Eleven volunteers received training to become rape crisis advocates and offer supportive services to victims of sexual assault. The 40-hour training, which was hosted by Seekhaven, the local domestic violence shelter, was presented by UCASA (Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault). Most of the trainees were from Moab.
During the training, advocates learn about the dynamics of sexual violence and ways in which advocates can most effectively support victims of sexual violence.
“Many Grand County residents are unaware of the lifelines that are available to victims of sexual assault and rape,” said Seekhaven executive director Jaylyn Hawks. “At Seekhaven, all staff members complete the 40 hour training to become rape crisis advocates and there is on-call, in person help available 24/7 to support victims of rape and sexual assault.”
Throughout the state of Utah there is only one stand-alone rape crisis center – the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake. However, ten of the state’s thirteen private nonprofit shelters offer similar services. Whether or not the victim chooses to report the crime, help and support are available.
“Ideally, when a victim makes a call to the law enforcement officer or arrives at the hospital after an assault, hospital and/or law enforcement staff will make a call to Seekhaven,” Hawks said. “Seekhaven staff will then contact the on-call rape crisis advocate to make arrangements to meet with the victim and explain the services that are available, lend support, and assist the victim in accessing resources.”
These same resources are available to victims who do not report the crime to police and/or who choose not to go to the hospital.
Sexual assault and rape affect all races, education levels, income levels, religions, ethnic groups, and socio-economic groups. According to state of Utah’s Violence and Injury Prevention Program, one in three Utah women will experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetime.
Many Grand County residents are unaware of the lifelines that are available to victims of sexual assault and rape.”