Voices of Hope Shares Ways Victims of Sexual Assault Can Get Help

By: Casey Geraldo Email
By: Casey Geraldo Email

When sexual assault happens, the Lincoln group Voices of Hope says they can't imagine a more personal invasion. Voices of hope emphasizes that sexual assault is not the victim's fault. The responsibility is on the person committing the crime.

Of all violent crimes, Voices of Hope says sexual assault is the most under-reported.

"The reason for that is we look at the victim's behavior and we blame the victim," said Marla Sohl, Voices of Hope Sexual Assault Services Coordinator.

When sexual assault happens there are steps victims can take to begin healing.

"The only thing that any of us can control is our bodies and when somebody sexually assaults another person they take control over that one thing that is ours and so there's a huge grieving process that goes along with that," said Sohl.

Sohl wants people to know they have a lot of options, and not all lead to a courtroom.

"Whether that be law enforcement or if they don't want to report it they can come to Voices of Hope," said Sohl.

In Nebraska, doctors and hospitals are mandatory reporters of violent crimes.

Sohl says it's still important to get medical treatment and in Lancaster County victims can be seen treated without their name being known. So they can go to the hospital and they can have treatment, they can have a kit collected, and they can still remain anonymous to law enforcement.

She says usually police can't do anything with anonymous reports. Sohl adds unfortunately even reported cases can be difficult to convict.

If you do choose to report a sex assault crime, Voices of Hope will be with you every step of the way through the court process.

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