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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: Ohio expanding qualified Rape Crisis Centers

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024   

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Ohio is expanding its qualified rape crisis centers serving rural areas in the central and southeastern regions of the state.

Taylr Ucker-Lauderman, chief engagement officer with the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, explained that qualified centers have to meet certain criteria, and typically provide crisis intervention, legal and medical assistance, counseling and referrals to other local resources. She said collaboration among centers to assist sexual abuse survivors and educate the public about violence prevention is critical.

"One really exciting outcome of 2023 is that we did see two additional rape crisis centers identified as qualified rape crisis centers, which means that they are supported by the Alliance," Ucker-Lauderman said.

One in four women and about one in 26 men have experienced completed or attempted rape, according to the CDC. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline. It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-656-4673.

Ucker-Lauderman added survivors of sexual assault often need housing and other basic resources, noting these services are especially needed in geographically isolated areas, and are often unavailable if domestic violence isn't co-occurring. Rape crisis centers may be one of the few options sexual violence survivors have.

"That means increasing the capacity of the service providers across the state, making sure that they have the training that they need, the funding, the staff," she said.

Molly MacMath, executive director of COMPASS Rape Crisis Center in Northeastern Ohio, said while centers, hospitals and police departments play a critical role in preventing sexual violence, communities should be working to come up with creative ways to approach the issue.

"There's so many other entities within our communities that really play a role in the awareness and prevention of violence," MacMath said.

According to Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence's annual report, last year rape crisis centers across the state provided 556 nights of shelter through the Alliance's Meaningful Access Housing Program.


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