ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center urges citizens to stay vigilant about their safety and the safety of others when it comes to the crime of sexual assault.
The Center encourages the community to visit the RAINN (Rape, Incest, and Abuse National Network) website at www.RAINN.org for tips on reducing one's risk of sexual assault. "This is the time of the year when we remind the public, especially our teens and young adults, that sexual assault is a reality in our community," says Laura Kalt, Alachua County Victim Services Community Education Coordinator. "We want people to consider situations which could increase their risk and take steps to avoid these situations. However, we also want to emphasize that no matter what, it's never the victim's fault. The responsibility always lies with the perpetrator."
Free services are available to all survivors of sexual assault, even those who are not sure about reporting the crime to police. These services include a forensic exam, phone and face-to-face counseling, criminal justice support, confidential HIV testing, and assistance filing for victim compensation. "Not many people are aware that all survivors can receive a free forensic exam, which provides post-assault treatment and collects evidence in case the victim decides to report the assault that day or at a later time," says Kalt.
The Center offers confidential phone counseling 24 hours a day at 352-264-6760 or toll-free 866-252-5439. Callers can remain anonymous.
For more information about the Center's educational presentations, contact Laura Kalt, at 352-213-0996.