UNK Women’s Center, S.A.F.E. Center team to help sexual assault survivors

Sexual assault.

It happens to your neighbors. It happens to your friends. It happens to your sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. It happens to your roommates and classmates.

It happens to University of Nebraska at Kearney students.

And it affects you.

“I never thought it would happen to me.” We hear this often from survivors of sexual assault.

It can happen to anyone, and it affects not only survivors, but their friends and families, campus and our community, too.

Sexual assault is not only a “woman’s issue.” It is everyone’s. And yet, survivors still face many barriers when trying to seek help and support. College campuses are not immune, and we’re here to make sure UNK students get the support they need to move from being a victim to living as a survivor.

“Among undergraduate students, 23 percent of females and five percent of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation,” says the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

This is why UNK’s Women’s Center and Kearney’s S.A.F.E. Center have teamed to help survivors of sexual assault. The partnership formed in January for the purpose of providing advocacy and support for UNK students. Since faculty and staff on campus must notify authorities when they are aware of a sexual assault of a student, the presence of the S.A.F.E. Center’s Client Advocate allows for confidential reporting.

The Client Advocate is available to meet with UNK students and provide direct services to sexual assault survivors. Services include, but are not excluded to:

  • Individual crisis support, information, options and referrals;
  • Medical accompaniments;
  • Title IX advocacy;
  • 24-hour crisis line services;
  • Emergency shelter;
  • Support group;
  • Protection order assistance; and
  • Court accompaniment and information concerning legal alternatives.

The Client Advocate is available at the UNK Women’s Center from 9 a.m. to noon each Friday. All services are free and confidential. Friends and family are encouraged to reach out for help and support as well. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can call 1-877-237-2513 to schedule an appointment or access S.A.F.E. Center’s 24-hour hotline.

– Kiphany Hof is associate director of UNK Counseling and UNK Women’s Center. She is a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner. She can be contacted at 308.865.8248 or hofkj@unk.edu
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