Rutland residents present assist survivors of sexual violence

Rutland, Vt. (WCAX) – Supporting survivors of sexual assault is at all times the mission of the NewStory Center in Rutland. On Saturday, they held their annual walk-a-mile occasion to point out them they aren’t alone.

“We want them to know we’re here for them,” defined Avaloy Lanning, government director of the NewStory Center in Rutland. “We believe them and we’re going to walk with them.”

In 2021, NewStory labored with 30 particular person survivors of sexual violence. The group gives sources corresponding to housing, counseling, and authorized assist. While these tangible wants are being met, Lanning stated there’s additionally a necessity for neighborhood.

“The thing survivors face most is isolation,” she defined. “They don’t know there are people out there willing to listen and believe them and walk with them.”

Rutland County’s Chief Deputy State Attorney Ian Sullivan was at Saturday’s stroll. He stated sexual violence circumstances primarily based completely on testimony will be troublesome.

That’s why he encourages survivors to bear a forensic examination, if attainable, in case they modify their thoughts about reporting in a while.

“People should have ownership of the experience, once they can” Sullivan stated. “There are avenues of preserving evidence that don’t necessarily require contact with the police.”

Those on the walk-a-mile occasion say it’s vital for survivors to know, even when folks decide to not report or get an examination, it doesn’t invalidate their expertise.

It can occur to anybody at any time in any state of affairs,” stated Gayle Townsend-Lanning, who works for Rutland colleges. “People have to understand they need support and love and care, not judgment.”

“The folks we serve at NewStory are members of our community, whether they have children or not, and they deserve the respect and attention any member of the community would have,” stated Mary Moran, retired superintendent of Rutland colleges.

If you’re in a doubtlessly harmful state of affairs, these at NewStory can be found 24/7 to assist.

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