Sexual Assault Services
Bronson Health Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives that create a safer and educated southwest Michigan. Sexual Assault Services provides free services to sexual assault victims, their loved ones and the community. There have been many projects and services that have been funded through the generosity of our communities, here are some highlights:
- 1,412 persons who were affected by sexual assault or abuse received services from SAS personnel
- 434 victims received specialized medical services: 312 victims benefited from an expert nurse phone consultation and 226 received acute medical forensic examinations at Oaklawn Hospital, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, Fieldstone Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) site, YWCA of Kalamazoo, Bronson Methodist Hospital, or Bronson LakeView Hospital.
- Victim advocates assisted 128 friends and family members of victims during the time of the medical forensic exam.
- SAS advocates assisted 27 victims and family members/friends during the court process.
- 209 children and 172 family members received specialized multidisciplinary team services at the Child Advocacy Center.
- 397 survivors of sexual violence received individual, group or family counseling by trained, masters-level therapists.
- 23 trained community volunteers donated 5,552 hours to assist victims at hospitals, police departments, and courts.
*Collaboration with the YWCA in Kalamazoo County and the Domestic Violence Coalition in Van Buren County helps provide advocacy and counseling services in our region. Statistics from these organizations are not included here.
Education and Prevention
- 2,619 youth from pre-school through high school received sexual assault prevention education and materials.
- 150 adults and college students received sexual assault prevention education and materials.
Child Advocacy Clinic
The Children's Advocacy Center offers:
- A child-appropriate/child-friendly facility that is both physically and emotionally safe.
- Forensic interviews that are conducted in a neutral, fact-finding nature. We also make sure to coordinate with other professionals to avoid duplicative interviewing.
- A multidisciplinary team that meets to discuss and investigate allegations of child abuse. This includes:
- Law enforcement
- Child protective services
- Prosecution professionals
- Mental health professionals
- Medical providers
- Victim advocacy professionals
- Children’s advocacy center professionals
- Medical evaluation through coordination and referral with other providers who are specifically trained in pediatric child abuse issues.
- Victim support/advocacy to coordinate with other providers throughout the investigation and court process.
- A family advocate program.
- Case review to provide team discussion and information sharing throughout the case progression.
- Case tracking to monitor case progress and case outcomes.
Service Animal: Matty
As a certified facility dog, Matty’s job is to bring comfort to others. Matty has been certified as a facility dog through Canine Companions for Independence.
Benefits of animal assisted therapy
- Assists in providing stimulation for conversation in healthcare and counseling settings
- Promotes improvement in human physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive function
- Elevates the mood of patients, staff and the facility in general
Art & Murals
Art and murals play a vital role in creating a calm, peaceful and healing environment throughout the Sexual Assault Services Center. Input from patients and and families has helped local artists create this comfortable environment.
Sexual Assault Annual Recognition Event
Each year, Sexual Assault Services holds their Annual Recognition Event. The event is a celebration of the exceptional work accomplished the year before and includes a prominent keynote speaker.
Free services provided by Sexual Assault Services:
- 24-hour crisis line – speak with one of our trained crisis workers 24-hours a day/7 days a week.
- Sexual assault nurse examiners – our nurses provide expert medical exams in a comfortable setting.
- Counseling services – sexual assault survivors can speak with our clinically trained counselors in an individual, group or family setting.
- Child Advocacy Center – we offer specialized support to child victims and their families. We also provide a multi-disciplinary response to child sexual abuse.
- Educational presentations – our specially trained staff offer presentations about our services and the dynamics of sexual assault. Sexual assault prevention programs are available for all age groups.
- Highly trained staff – all of our staff receive in-depth training and provide the highest quality services.
- Volunteer program – our volunteer advocates provide 24-hour crisis support and advocacy.