65 minutes | Sep 19th 2020

Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault | An Interview with the Staff of The Refuge

The Refuge is an advocacy group for sexual assault victims located in Orem, Utah. In this episode, Kurt discusses with Lori Jenkins, Stephanie Heaps and Bethany Crisp about how we as leaders can recognize and help sexual assault victims.

Highlights

3:30 What is the Refuge?
6:15 In Utah sexual assault is the one crime that we’re above the national average.
9:15 When you first hear about sexual abuse start by believing the victim.
11:15 Remember what your role is: to connect them to Christ.
12:15 0% of victims chose to be victimized. They need love and support and are never to blame.
13:30 When someone first comes to you and they have done something wrong, it’s not the time to talk about that.
14:45 The first person a victim tells about the assault sets the tone for their recovery.
16:45 Rapists cause rape. It can happen to anyone.
17:30 Don’t question why they didn’t fight back.
18:15 Submission is not consent.
19:30 90% of the time the victim knows the perpetrator.
20:00 When defining consent, coercion can play a part.
20:45 What is trauma brain?
23:45 Things leaders can say to a victim.
24:15 Reflective listening
26:30 Many victims are wondering if they are to blame or need to repent.
27:30 Become acquainted with services that can help victims.
31:00 Code R exam
33:00 Plan B pill that can be given after a rape and what it does.
34:00 We need victims to know there are resources and that they are free.
35:00 Reporting the assault and what is required.
35:40 Turn to the handbook and the church’s counseling and legal line: overuse it!
37:00 What to do when a victim doesn’t want to report the assault.
39:45 Going to the hospital doesn’t mean they have to report the assault.
40:15 Ask what is concerning to them and what you can do to help.
40:30 Rape trauma syndrome
40:50 Phase 1- The crisis
41:30 Phase 2- Initial adjustment
42:15 Phase 3- Resolution phase
43:20 The phases aren’t always linear.
43:40 What not to say to victims.
44:00 Don’t question their choices.
46:00 Do not share details or information with others even if you think the victim should tell them.
48:00 Allow the victim to make decisions.
49:00 Sexual assault can happen to men too.
50:30 Loved ones of the victim are affected and also may need to be referred to resources to help them.
53:30 What to do when a membership council is involved for the perpetrator. Don’t retraumatize the victim.
58:00 Kurt’s experience with a sexual assault victim.

Links

The Center for Women and Children in Crisis