YWCA of Northwest Georgia Provides Help and Healing to Victims of Sexual Assault through the WellStar Regional Protection Center

The YWCA of Northwest Georgia and its partnerships with district attorneys, health care and law enforcement professionals have strengthened a comprehensive network of services for victims of sexual assault. Since November 2005,  the YWCA Sexual Assault Response Team has been a tremendous collaboration among YWCA volunteers and staff, district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, nurses, doctors, and heath care administrators each working to ensure victims receive emergency medical  attention, counseling and legal advocacy.

In 2005, through a partnership with WellStar Health System, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department, and the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Unit, the YWCA began the Cobb County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and the protocol was updated in 2015. Vic Reynolds, District Attorney of the Cobb Judicial Circuit states, “The SART program provides a key component to the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases in our community.  In addition to the immediate assistance SART provides, this program also makes sure there is follow up care in a number of vital areas that victims need.”

“As the only provider of sexual assault crisis services for victims over the age of 13 in Cobb, Cherokee, and Paulding counties, the YWCA Sexual Assault Teams provide victims immediate access to a forensic medical examination and crisis counseling, follow up medical care, legal advocacy and assistance, as well as, follow-up support for victims and their family/friends support network,” shares Holly Tuchman, CEO and Executive Director of the YWCA of Northwest Georgia.”SafePath now has the capability to complete forensic exams for those victims who are twelve years of age and under.”

Sarah Pederson, SANE-A, BSN, RN, presented some staggering statistics at the SART Meeting which was held on April 13, 2016.

All of the YWCA SANE cases continue to be worked at the YWCA  and authorized WellStar facilities:

2016 (Jan – Mar) 35
2015 116
2014 74
2013 87
2012 92
2011 99
2010 116
2009 101
2008 92
2007 67
2006 83
2005 14

SANE Exams by Patient Age for 2015

Ages 13-17
Ages 18-24
Ages 25-30
Ages 31-40
Ages 41-50
Ages 50+

The YWCA of Northwest Georgia wants you to know…abuse or sexual assault is never your fault! Nothing in the way you act, dress or speak causes violent behavior.  No one has the right to abuse you or force you to have sex with them! It is a problem that knows no social boundaries or class distinction. Let us help you take steps to protect yourself.

Advocates on the Crisis Line are available to talk about sexual assault or other abuse issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Even if you have never talked with anyone about your assault or an assault on your child, or if years have passed since the assault, you can call the crisis line for assistance or information. Call an advocate at 770-427-3390.

The YWCA Sexual Assault Program offers free counseling to victims of sexual assault and abuse and their families. Clients generally come in for weekly counseling sessions with a specially trained counselor.   Support groups for adult and teen victims of sexual assault and/or abuse and non-offending parents of children who have been sexually abused are also offered. These groups meet throughout the year.

If you are interested in obtaining more information on counseling or attending a support group, call 770-427-2902.

By |2017-01-17T10:46:24-05:00April 18th, 2016|Press Release|