Fri. Dec 1st, 2023
The month of April may be designated as Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Months, but the crimes are really year-round problems and, yes, even right here in the lake area.
Stephanie Dominique, registered nurse and Director of Forensic Assessment and Consultation with the Lake Regional Health System, says victims all too often get caught up in the stigma of being a victim.
“A lot of people wait until they go back home, and they will report to their law enforcement officers wherever they came from….and they don’t come here, they don’t come to the hospital for these exams.”
Dominique also says that victims are encouraged to immediately report incidents because time is a factor in the process.
“The faster you can come in to have an exam done, the better chance we have to be able to collect evidence for the prosecution of that crime.”
In 2022 alone, Lake Regional cared for 76 sexual assault survivors, three human trafficking cases, and 538 cases of physical or sexual abuse suffered by children and teenagers.