SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In 2014 the YWCA of western Massachusetts received 10,000 calls for domestic violence and sexual assault services. In addition to providing shelter for some victims, they have outreach programs for area schools and community organizations.
If a woman decides to bring charges against her attacker, they’ll need evidence. That’s why some decide to have a rape kit performed soon after the attack. The rape kit test can take about four hours, and can be emotionally difficult.
The YWCA said a victim has important choices to make after a very traumatic event. According to Mary Reardon Johnson, the Executive Director of YWCA of WMass, “There is support for the victim, there is support for her family, and we want to be there no matter what time of the day or night. She can call us and we’ll be there.”
Johnson said hearing about a sexual assault can trigger an emotional reaction in people that may have had a similar experience, and encourages them that they can still call even if it happened years ago.
You can call the YWCA at 413-732-3121, and for more info on the YWCA of WMass, visit the Facebook page.