Speaker talks with students about rape

“Yesterday, the University of Akron was visited by Janet Black, assistant director of the Rape Crisis Center of Medina The event, called Women-Filled Wednesday, served to promote the Rape Crisis Center and this Friday’s Take Back the Night event to raise awareness to end sexual violence.”

Yesterday, the University of Akron was visited by Janet Black, assistant director of the Rape Crisis Center of Medina The event, called Women-Filled Wednesday, served to promote the Rape Crisis Center and this Friday’s Take Back the Night event to raise awareness to end sexual violence.

 The Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties has four employees at their Summit County office and two employees in Medina County. The Crisis Center provides valuable services to rape victims, as well as volunteer and internship programs for the general public. Although the Crisis Center does not provide counseling from their agency, they provide face-to-face crisis intervention, justice system advocacy, education and a twenty-four hour hotline.

 The Justice System Advocacy program serves to help rape victims that are interested in pressing charges against their alleged attacker. Justice system advocates will answer questions pertaining to pressing charges, filing police reports, alternative legal remedies or any other legal question a victim may have.

 Sexual assault still tends to be a crime that the victim takes on the responsibility for. Society is more than willing to push that responsibility there, as well, Black said. Face-to-face intervention helps victims process their assault, by attempting to normalize their emotions and the turmoil they may be experiencing. Victims often need to be reminded that they are experiencing a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. We have advocates on call 24/7 to come to the hospital to be a support for that victim, Black said. Someone will always be there to support a rape victim when they come to the hospital, she added. Group therapy sessions are also made available to victims that would benefit from them.

 Another priority of the Rape Crisis Center is providing public education on the nature of sexual assaults. To raise awareness for their cause, the Crisis Center is hosting a Take Back the Night rally this Friday, Oct. 10. Take Back the Night is a historic event that has roots dating to 1877. During this rally, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence will share their stories to raise awareness and become empowered. The night will end in a march through downtown Akron, in the hope that someday, women will be able to walk the streets in safety. Violence does cut across all socioeconomic levels, all educational levels, all racial groups. It is an equal opportunity destroyer, Black said.

As for the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses, Black said, Of course things vary greatly from campus to campus. A lot of things depend greatly upon how open that campus is to reporting [cases]. In terms of working with police departments, the University of Akron’s police department has responded phenomenally.

 If any readers have been sexually assaulted, remember, your body is the crime scene. Refrain from brushing your teeth or showering. Leave your clothing on and get to a hospital as soon as possible. Evidence could be found for up to 96 hours at St. Thomas Hospital and 72 hours at most other hospitals. Victims should get to a hospital however possible. Many victims get rides from a friend or family member, but if you feel the need to call 911, please do so. After seeking medical attention and being evaluated by a forensics nurse, a representative from the Crisis Center will be contacted.


” #1.1360859:1862861623.jpg:20081009_rape_db-edit.jpg:anet Black speaks with female students about what to do in a case of rape.:Diana Ball”