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20 April 2015

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has declared the month of April Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To raise awareness for the issue and to bring to light the work of The Salvation Army, we wanted to give you an idea of how we assist in this area in Upstate, NY.

In Jamestown, The Salvation Army operates the Anew Center, a domestic violence and rape crisis program. Led by program director Stacey Tanner, the center also operates a shelter where last year 197 individuals received assistance.  Staff provided case management to 349 domestic violence survivors and sexual assault victims. They received over 7,600 telephone calls to their 24 hour hotline telephone number.  As a way to help educate teens, the staff made 132 presentations to middle school students in Chautauqua County on dating and healthy relationships.

Over the past year, the staff have accompanied 190 domestic violence and rape survivors to court and completed 36 advocacy calls to area hospitals.  The Anew Center also provides child and family outreach and counseling.

The Anew Center is the only domestic violence and rape crisis program in Chautauqua County.

Stacey shares this story:

The Salvation Army Anew Center was contacted to assist a victim of human trafficking who had escaped from daily physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse and sought help from local police. The Army gave her a place to stay and helped her get medical attention.       

During her stay she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Her dying wish was to return to the Philippines to her home and family. The Salvation Army worked diligently with other agencies, the FBI, her family and airlines to ensure she was able to return home. Although staff was saddened to learn of her medical condition, she was able to escape her perpetrator, get appropriate medical attention and return home to be with her family.