|One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before age 18. (www.pcar.org)Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though they make up about 10% of all victims. (U.S. Department of Justice. 2005 National Crime Victimization Study. 2005.)Female students who have been physically and/or sexual abused by a dating partner in the 9th through 12 grades are at an increased risk for substance abuse, unhealthy weight control, risky sexual behavior, pregnancy, and suicide. (Silverman, Jay, Anita Raj, Lorelei Mucci, and Jeanne Hathaway. “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality.” Journal of American Medical Association. 286(5):572-579, 2001.)
What is Sexual Abuse? Sexual abuse involves a range of activities, including fondling the genital area, masturbation, oral sex, or vaginal or anal penetration by a finger, penis, or other object. It also includes exhibitionism, child pornography, and use of suggestive behaviors or comments.
The Healing Place provides the following services to teen victims and their families, boyfriend, girlfriend, other support persons:
- Reliable information 24 hours a day- If you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual violence, The Healing Place provides a 24-hour crisis line that offers help and support. You don’t have to give your name to receive good, reliable information. Crisis Line: (828) 692-3931
- We will go with you to the emergency room- Trained volunteer advocates are available 24 hours a day to provide support and information to victims of sexual assault at the hospital where they are being treated. A male advocate is available to provide this support and advocacy to men and boys. The agency also provides post-examination clothing to victims in the emergency room.
- Counseling – Free & Confidential trauma focused counseling is available to teen victims and their non-offending family or support members. The counseling provides skills and tools to overcome the assault or abuse. Usually a parent or guardian is required to sign a consent for treatment, but what is talked about in counseling is not shared with parents or guardians. Homeless students or those meeting the definition of the McKinney-Vento act may participate without parental consent.
- You may need other services - Each victim and his or her circumstances is different and The Healing Place recognizes the need for appropriate community referrals. A staff member will assist each victim as they work toward overcoming the sexual violence by identifying needs of the whole person and helping the victim access needed community resources.
- We will go with you to court, if necessary- The Healing Place offers advocacy and companionship during visits to law enforcement agencies, court proceedings, and other legal procedures. An Advocate of The Healing Place will also help the victim with a Victim Impact Statement, if necessary.
- You may qualify for monitary help- The Healing Place Advocate will help the victim determine eligibility and file the proper paperwork to receive compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other allowable expenses.