At the height of sexual misconduct allegations, it is important to know where to turn if you’re ever a victim of sexual assault. With the help of viral awareness campaigns like #MeToo, brave men and women are coming forward with their accounts of sexual misconduct in and out of the workplace. Now, more than ever, organizations dedicated to helping victims of sexual assault are in need of our generosity and support.
Since their incorporation in 1981, Valley Oasis has been dedicated to protecting victims of domestic violence in the Antelope Valley and beyond. Throughout their years of service, Valley Oasis has expanded their offerings to help all victims of assault and other forms of trauma. For example, Valley Oasis’ Sexual Assault Response Services (SARS) is a program that is dedicated to helping sexual assault victims in a number of ways.
SARS works with hospitals throughout the Antelope Valley 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support sexual assault victims that come to the emergency room. In addition, this program is present on many college and high school campuses throughout the Antelope Valley, ensuring that campus policies and procedures are up to date and in compliance with federal laws, as well as making their resources easily and readily accessible.
When a trained SARS advocate responds to a call from an emergency room, they often find the victim feeling vulnerable and alone. The advocate stays by the victim’s side throughout every stage of the investigation and recovery process. They provide emotional support, one-on-one counseling, resources, and follow-ups.
One of the most important ways SARS helps the victim is by providing them with loose-fitting clothing for when they leave the hospital. The victim often comes to the hospital in the clothing they were wearing during the assault. Because of this, their clothes are taken away and stored as evidence. Oftentimes, victims are forced to leave the hospital in nothing but a hospital gown – greatly increasing their feelings of vulnerability and loneliness.
Last year, SARS advocates responded to over 300 male and female victims ranging in age from 3 months old to 89 years old. While sexual assault can happen to anyone, the largest victim group consists of young women ranging in age from 14 to 22 years old. With this in mind, they need clothing for men, women and children of all ages. Below is a list of items SARS needs the most:
– Stuffed Animals
Along with the loose-fitting clothing, these victims need calming and comfort during this hard time. Being able to hold onto a stuffed animal during the invasive tests and procedures brings much needed comfort; even to the older victims.
Please join PARRIS as we collect as much clothing and stuffed animals as possible for SARS. The program will take new or gently used items. We are collecting donations until December 29, 2017, so feel free to stop by PARRIS Law Firm and drop off any items you would like to donate in the bins located in our lobby. We are located at 43364 10th Street West in Lancaster.
We here at PARRIS work hard every day to restore the lives of people who have been harmed through no fault of their own. We will do whatever we can to make sure you are taken care of, and we know Valley Oasis and SARS will do the same.