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UNLV group helping women who are assault victims

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 8/19 4:04 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- With around 20 percent of women reporting they have been victims of sexual assault at some point in their life, organizations are taking steps to curb violence toward women.

Services such as UNLV’s Women’s Centers Help Hotline are there for women who might not know where to turn when they have been the victim of an assault or fear they might become one.

Christina Hernandez, director of the Women’s Center, said the organization is seeing an influx of sexual assault reports.

“We have seen more sexual assaults report to our center from previous years,” Hernandez said.

She credits the rise in reports to national publicity of sexual assaults on campus addressed by the Obama administration earlier this year.

Being educated on the subject is key to prevention and peer advocate Carmella Gadsen said permission in sexual situations is vital.

“It comes down to consent and when is consent possible and that's why we have consent intervention presentations in all freshman year seminars to teach people what are the black white gray areas in this dialogue,” Gadsen said.

Peer advocates at UNLV are trained to handle different scenarios regarding abusive relationships and hold mock situations to make sure they’re ready when a real-life crisis call comes in.

Preparing those who fear they’re significant other may harm them or their loved ones is one way peer advocates help victims. From finding a safe zone in their home, to prevention education, keeping women safe is their priority.

The latest UNLV sexual assault report from 2012 shows that no on-campus calls were made that year, but one off-campus incident was noted. The university stated that even one incident of sexual assault is too many.


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