Shaterra Norris, Outreach Specialist for Arise Sexual Assault Services, visited ENMU campus with a presentation about Arise and their services Wednesday at 2pm in the Sandia Room.
During the presentation, Norris discussed multiple services the program provides including steps to take during sexual assault cases, their advocacy program, ways to prevent sexual assault, and ways to support a victim of sexual assault.
Norris explained that Arise is dedicated to providing people with free and confidential assistance if they have been sexually assaulted. Arise provides Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exams, STI tests and treatments, emergency contraceptives, referrals to doctors and clinics, and various other services. They also provide 24-hour counseling services to victims, regardless of how long ago the assault occurred. “One of the things that we try to promote is that we’ll see you regardless of the situation,” said Norris.
Norris also stressed the importance of knowing how to support a victim of sexual assault. Some of the tips she mentioned were: encourage the victim to seek medical attention, help them regain a sense of control, be an open listener, let them know they are not alone, and above all be patient with them. When helping a victim immediately after the assault, it is important to let the victim know you believe them, and keep them safe and away from the assailant while you call the emergency hotline.
Norris closed her presentation with ways to prevent sexual assault. One of the most important steps is to make sure that both participants have given consent before anything happens, and also to know that if someone is unconscious, that means they cannot give consent. Other ways Norris mentioned to prevent sexual assault included: be assertive of boundaries, trust instincts, support a safe and respectful community, and be an active bystander.
For more information on Arise and their services, visit arisen.org. If you are in need of their services, call their hotline at 575-226-7263.