It could never happen to me, right? I take all the precautions, and remain aware of my surroundings.
What do you do if the unthinkable does happen?
September 23, Saint Clair County Community College hosted RAINN Day, a sexual assault awareness, prevention and survival program in the Fine Arts building on campus.
According to their web site, RAINN Day is a national campaign, hosted on college campus nationwide in all 50 states, Canada, DC and Puerto Rico. The campaign provides information on what can be done to reduce the risks of an attack.
The SC4 presentation included; Detective Sandra Jacobson of the St. Clair County Sheriff Department, Melissa Keyes, senior assistant prosecutor of the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Tami Stapleton of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Diane Baur, Director of Support Services, Turning Point and survivor, Sonja Merritt.
Detective Jacobson discussed awareness and being safe in public venues, such as bars. Jacobson suggested never leaving your drink unattended when using the restroom. Should you forget, Jacobson explained the drink should be thrown it out and order a fresh one ordered. “It just isn’t worth it said Jacobson.”
Survivor Sonja Meritt, shared that victims don’t always come forward right away. Meritt explained they are afraid to tell anyone. “It may take a long time to tell someone,” stated Meritt. According to Meritt, every victim reacts differently.
Detective Jacobson said that if the person the victims share their ordeal with overreacts, they may shut down and not ever tell anyone else.
RAINN Day ‘s web site offers the following tips of prevention.
Make sure you don’t share personal information online. Avoid being alone with anyone you do not know, or don’t trust. If the hairs on your neck are standing up, you feel ill at ease, that feeling in your stomach that something is not right, get out of the situation. Contact campus security if you notice anything suspicious.
Should you or someone you know become a victim, remember, you did nothing wrong. Get help.
Further information for prevention and help for survivors can be obtained at:
Turning Point 24 hour crisis line
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Emergency Department
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program
RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network)
National Sexual Assault hotline