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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Sexual Assault: Where Do Ohio Survivors Turn for Help?

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Monday, December 18, 2017   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Advocates for women say the wave of high profile sexual abuse allegations is helping survivors in Ohio find their voices. But who can they trust?

In a survey of Cuyahoga County residents, most respondents said if they needed assistance after a sexual assault, they would turn to a doctor, nurse, teacher or caseworker. Sondra Miller, president and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, said the findings underscore how important it is for people in those roles to know how to respond to a survivor immediately following such a disclosure.

"What can I do to let these individuals know I'm a safe person to talk about this?” Miller said. "How can I be trained and how can I have the skills to respond compassionately, and in a way that helps survivors overcome trauma, as opposed to re-traumatizing them?"

Miller said people in leadership positions should also provide training and resources for staff members about the definitions of sexual assault and rape, the impacts of trauma, and how to provide ongoing support.

Miller explained that fear, shame, dependence and not being believed are some of the many reasons survivors of rape or sexual assault don't come forward to seek help. But she said working through the trauma is crucial to the healing process.

"Survivors often develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and lots of perhaps negative coping skills,” she said. "We know there's a huge correlation between alcohol and drug abuse and sexual assault - anxiety, depression, contemplating suicide, some very serious things."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1-in-5 women and 1-in-75 men in Ohio will experience rape. And amid the wave of sexual misconduct allegations, Miller said her center is seeing unprecedented call volumes at its 24-hour crisis hotline.

"We're definitely feeling the impact of the national news headlines right now,” she said. "In some ways, it's empowering more people to speak out for the very first time. And in other ways, the headlines can be very triggering for survivors, and so they're reaching out for some extra support right now."

There are crisis centers and recovery service organizations throughout Ohio that Miller said will provide support, no matter how long ago someone experienced a sexual assault or rape.


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