Sexual assault crisis intervention program honored with award

• Two in five women will experience abuse or violence in their lifetime.
• There were 5,232 nights of emergency shelter provided to women in Ottawa County last year.
• Last year, 3,168 phone calls were answered on the emergency crisis line at the Center for Women in Transition.
The Center for Women in Transition’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, based in Holland and servicing Ottawa and Allegan counties, was named as a 2012 Hometown Health Hero from the Michigan Dept. of Community Health. 
“This award recognizes organizations across the state working tirelessly to maintain and improve the health of their local communities,” explains James Koval, coordinator of the Michigan Public Health Week Partnership. “The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program was chosen because the Partnership determined it made an important contribution to the health of the communities.”
The Hometown Health Hero Award is a major part of the annual Public Health Week observance in Michigan, and the Center will receive special recognition in Lansing on April 25, 2012.
“We are honored to work with the nurses in our program,” says Charisse Mitchell, executive director at the Center for Women in Transition. “They demonstrate uncommon commitment and sensitivity.”
The sexual assault examiner nurses offer crisis intervention services to victims of recent sexual assault 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is the only service of its kind in Ottawa and Allegan counties, and 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the program.
Rather than going to an emergency room following sexual assault, victims can call the Center’s 24-hour crisis line and be met by a specially trained nurse at the Center for Women in Transition. In a private setting, these nurses administer timely, sensitive and comprehensive medical exams that maintain legal chain-of-custody for any evidence collected. The nurses in this program are true "health heroes," helping their patients take the first steps toward healing from sexual assault.
Want to help put the good back in do-gooder. Get involved:
• Learn more about the Center for Women in Transition 
• Read survivor stories
• Upcoming events
• Check out their wish list of items 
Source: Charisse Mitchell, Center for Women in Transition; James Koval, Michigan Public Health Week Partnership
Writer: Jennifer Wilson, Do Good Editor
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