‘Break the Silence’ video addresses creation of Sexual Assault Response Team

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KEARNEY – The S.A.F.E. Center and University of Nebraska at Kearney Sexual Assault Response Team have released an informational video titled “Break the Silence” in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

In 2012, members of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) served as actors for the nationally-released video which is to be used by persons interested in creating a SART and looking to educate other potential members, management and the community on the value of a SART.

Additionally, the video can be used by rural and Native American SARTs to make their respective communities aware of the SART and its ability to increase conviction rates, thus potentially increasing the willingness by victims to prosecute. The video also demonstrates the importance of having trained sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) to collect forensic evidence.

This opportunity became available through a previous collaboration with the SANE-SART Resource Service of Minneapolis, Minn., and their contract with Kinetic Learning Inc. This production was funded through a grant to the SANE-SART Resource Service through the Office for Victims of Crimes, and Kearney was selected to demonstrate the challenges faced by victims of sexual assault in rural communities.

Scenes were filmed in Kearney and at Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The actors in the video portray some experiences of a sexual assault survivor and are not victims themselves, but are professionals in our community who

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were able to draw upon their work with victims and the trauma those victims have experienced.

Also portrayed are a few of the many professionals and

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organizations involved in the local Sexual Assault Response Team, including the UNK Women’s Center, UNK Counseling and Health Care, UNK Police Department, The S.A.F.E. Center, Kearney Police Department, Buffalo County Attorney’s Office, Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, and Family Advocacy Network.

These organizations and others work to help provide a victim-centered response while holding offenders accountable, helping to increase community safety and to prevent further victimization.

“We felt extremely fortunate to have been chosen to participate in this video which will make an impact on communities across the nation who are developing their own SARTs. This experience helped our own team look at critical issues that need to be addressed as we strive to improve our coordinated community response to the intervention and prevention of sexual assault,” said Nikki Gausman, Director of The S.A.F.E. Center, who also coordinated the filming of all of the scenes in Kearney.

LeAnn Obrecht, Director of Counseling and Health Care and the Women’s Center at UNK and chair of the area’s SART stated, “We are so honored to be chosen to help illustrate how our community responds to situations involving a sexual assault. The Kearney area SART has been made possible via UNK’s Women’s Center $900,000 grant from the Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women realizing that two-thirds of UNK students reside in our community. Our SART serves as a coordinated community response and adds immensely to an efficient and effective response. ”

Distribution of the video will be aimed at professionals in Indian Country as well as any rural areas interested in starting a SART, recently assigned SART members in Indian Country and in rural areas, and community members served by Indian Country and rural SARTs.

This 20-minute video is available online at www.sane-sart.com/breakthesilence

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Contact: Nikki Gausman, The S.A.F.E. Center, 308-237-2599

 

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