Aurora’s Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC) at Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Aurora West Allis Medical Center is the largest program of its kind in Wisconsin and the only program that provides immediate, compassionate, culturally sensitive assessment, treatment and crisis intervention services by specially trained nurses, crisis counselors and survivor advocates.
“Most victims of sexual assault blame themselves for being sexually assaulted,” explains Gina Kleist, RN, manager of SATC. “Denim Day highlights that no matter the actions or behaviors of someone, it is the offender that is to blame, not the victim. It takes courage for a survivor to come forward to seek services and report a sexual assault.”
This week, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced a new Survivor Advocacy program is being developed by Aurora’s SATC and Milwaukee Police Department Sensitive Crimes Unit. Through this program, SATC advocates will be able to accompany adult survivors during police interviews. Advocates can provide emotional support to survivors, allowing law enforcement to focus on the investigation. Additionally, advocates can answer questions — including those a survivor might be afraid to ask law enforcement. Advocates can also help explain and review medical or legal procedures with the survivor and accompany them throughout the entire process, including: medical examinations, court proceedings, and even post-conviction.
Each year, SATC sees over 600 sexual assault victims and almost 600 additional secondary victims—such as loved ones or adult caregivers. The SATC offers a multidisciplinary team, including specialized nurses who provide medical services to survivors, as well as crisis counselors who assess for trauma reactions and the need for referrals in follow up services.
“Individuals who help support the survivor are also offered services to help them deal with the sexual assault of their loved one,” said Kleist.
In addition to the SATC, Aurora Health Care operates seven Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs in eastern Wisconsin, more than any other health care system in the state.
“To witness the strength and courage of a victim in their journey to healing and recovery is very rewarding,” said Kleist.
It’s not too late to support Aurora’s Abuse Response Programs. Click here to give to the Denim Day campaign.