Sexual Assault Awareness - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Sexual Assault Awareness

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Kenmare Safety Coalition partnered with The Domestic Violence Crisis Center today, to raise awareness of sexual assault in our communities.

Sandy Madsen was raped by a stranger in her home nearly twenty years ago. Since then she has been on a mission-- representing herself and other survivors, to encourage dialogue and empowerment.

(Sandy Madsen, Survivor and Author) "You can do something about it, and not be afraid to talk. Like I said, I was not left with shame or guilt. My whole mission, I believe, is to go out and empower other women --I feel very empowered-- But I want to give them the power to talk because the more you talk about it, the more people are going to get caught. They cannot... don't feel ashamed."

Sergeant Laura Forbes of the Ward County Sheriffs Department was among the medical professionals and clergy in attendance at the conference. Forbes says the department can apply what they have learned from Madsen.

(Sergeant Laura Forbes, Ward County Sheriffs Department) "What I am taking away with this is how to turn around and help our deputies understand when you're dealing with a victim, how to treat them, so that they feel comfortable, and they don't feel like we don't really care. We want to get down to their level and to make sure that we do understand and that we do care and what's happening to them and we do want to find the perpetrator that did this."

Sergeant Forbes also asks any survivors to reach out to law enforcement or the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

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