Johnson County sexual assault victims, survivors benefit from fund
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During the last fiscal year, Mercy Hospital and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics treated 91 victims of sexual assault.
The Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team (JCSART) Fund—which was established last fall by local health-care providers and other generous donors with gifts made through the UI Foundation—helps support the JCSART and is one of many available resources that can help lessen trauma for sexual-assault victims and survivors.
The JCSART is a coalition of sexual-assault nurse examiners, emergency-room staff, rape-victim advocates, law-enforcement officers, and prosecuting attorneys who help coordinate the community’s response to sexual assault.
The JCSART team is made up of highly trained registered nurses who specialize in forensic and sexual-assault examinations. The JCSART Fund helps make it possible for the team to offer patients these specialized services and care after a sexual assault.
“Providing a system and services for victims of sexual violence is necessary and extremely important,” says Pamela Terrill, coordinator of the JCSART. “Our organization is crucial for the victim and his or her circle of family and friends.”
The JCSART’s goal is to meet the needs of sexual-assault victims as they progress through the health-care and criminal-justice systems by providing a compassionate, comprehensive, and professional sexual-assault response. The JCSART has been serving the Johnson County Community since 2000, and it collaborates with a variety of other agencies and organizations, including the Rape Victim Advocacy Program.
In June and July of last year, there was an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported and in the number of victims who sought treatment in emergency rooms, translating into an increased need for funding support in the summer months.
“Every time we treat a victim of sexual assault in the Emergency Room, we see what the JCSART programming means to them,” says Dr. Natasha Wheaton, a clinical assistant professor in the UI Department of Emergency Medicine and medical director of the JCSART. “Our patients need the Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team, and the team needs support from our community.”
To learn more about how private support can help sexual-assault victims, contact Elizabeth Simpson, the UI Foundation’s associate director of development, major gifts, for the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 319-467-3403, or 800-648-6973.