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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Published 8:58pm Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Michigan State Police (MSP) is seeking to educate victims regarding the importance of reporting sexual assault.

Victims of sexual assault are often afraid to come forward because they may feel embarrassed, ashamed or worried about what people may think about them, their family or their friends. Despite this, it is important to report a crime of sexual assault because it can help the victim begin the healing process and give detectives a better chance of catching the offender.

Physical evidence collected from a victim at the scene of the crime plays a large role in the prosecution of sexual assault cases. The longer a victim waits to report the crime, the less likely detectives will be able to collect necessary evidence. Additionally, as time passes, it becomes more difficult for the victim to recall important details of the crime.

Most important of all, victims who report sexual assaults help law enforcement to send a message to offenders that what they did was not OK and there are consequences for their actions.

There are many resources available to victims of sexual assault. The Michigan Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault provides a comprehensive list of service providers across the state on their website at www.mcadsv.org/help.

In addition, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is available 24 hours a day anywhere in the U.S. at 1-800-656-HOPE. This network provides confidential counseling and support for survivors of sexual assault.

 

Do 1 Thing

This week is the last week for emergency food supply information for the Do 1 Thing program. We have discussed having a three-day supply and keeping food cold. One issue that hasn’t been addressed is pets. If you have one, you know it has to eat also. Ensure you have a supply for it.

Concerning people, make sure you can meet any special dietary needs in your household. Some people are on a special diet for health reasons. There can be serious effects if the right food is not available during a disaster.

If you use special equipment, like a blender, food scale or feeding tubes, make sure you take those with you if you have to evacuate. Think about keeping extra equipment at a friend or relative’s house in case you do need to evacuate. Talk to your healthcare provider or a nutritionist about nonperishable menu options that can be used if you can’t get to a grocery store, or that can be prepared at an emergency shelter. Keep a description of your medical condition and the diet in your emergency kit.

Next week we start talking about work, school, and community preparation.

Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to TrooperRob53@yahoo.com

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