SOS offers victims assistance day or night with 24-hour help line – Osage County Online | Osage County News

SOS offers victims assistance day or night with 24-hour help line

Did you know every 92 seconds an American is sexually assaulted? Are you aware that more than 90 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows?

SOS Inc., which provides services in Chase, Coffey, Lyon, Morris, and Osage counties, is reminding everyone that SOS advocates are here to support victims with free and confidential services. SOS Crisis Services has 14 advocates who work in the five-county area, serving adult and child victims of sexual assault and domestic violence by offering emotional support, presenting them with options, and assisting victims with access to community resources, such as therapy. Advocacy services can also include help navigating the processes and systems within medical services, law enforcement, and prosecution. SOS services are available regardless of the circumstances of the assault, whether the victim chooses to involve law enforcement or not, and at any time following the assault – even years after. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), sexual violence can be any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another, including unwanted touching of a sexual nature such as kissing, fondling, oral sex, or intercourse.

Advocates can respond to aid victims immediately after a sexual assault and help those who are experiencing past trauma.

“Those feelings can only be masked for so long before they come back in other ways,” said Jen Ogleby, Sexual Assault Advocate with SOS. “Healing is a very personal thing. There is no correct way or timeline.”

“The only things that need to be said to someone disclosing that they have been assaulted are, ‘I believe you,’ ‘I am sorry this happened to you,’ and ‘This was not your fault,’” Ogleby said. “Those statements can be the difference between a survivor trying to numb those feelings in potentially destructive ways or finding the strength and power within themselves to not allow that horrific moment to define the rest of their lives.”

Victims of sexual assault are more likely to experience emotional challenges than non-victims, according to RAINN. Sexual assault victims are nearly four times more likely to experience PTSD as adults. Victims of sexual assault are about three times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults.

Additionally, only about two percent of all sexual assault accusations reported to the police turn out to be false; only 230 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police. That means about three out of four go unreported; 93 percent of sexual assaults are committed by somebody the victim knows.

SOS services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the SOS 24-hour helpline 620-342-1870 or 800-825-1295. For more information about SOS and its services, please visit www.soskansas.com.

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