One in four women is sexually abused, and for men, it's every one in six. Because of those staggering statistics, the YWCA of Herkimer County is bringing group support sessions to its sexual violence services and child advocacy center. The YWCA provides domestic and sexual violence support to children and adults who have been victimized.
Service Coordinator Kelly Conroy of the YWCA Herkimer office says that sexual violence is one of the most under-reported crimes and that the county has really seen an increase in a need for support services for victims.
For that reason, the Herkimer office will now be holding support groups for sexual violence victims. Conroy says for someone who has suffered sexual abuse individual counseling sessions can only take them so far, she says group support can be extremely beneficial in the healing process. " I think that dealing with it on your own it can only work for so long," says Conroy, "a lot of people feel really alone and isolated and that this has never happened to anyone else and so when they meet with people who say maybe I haven't had the exact same experience as you but I have been victimized and I know what that feels like, makes someone feel less alone."
Conroy says there will be support groups for survivors of sexual violence and for secondary victims, who may have not suffered the abuse themselves, but are caregivers for those who do. They are currently seeking participants for their support groups. To participate or obtain more information, contact Ashley Piersall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 866-0748 ext. 304. For support groups in Oneida County, contact Deb Humphrey at email@example.com, or at (313) 732-2159 ext. 242.
For 24-hour help with sexual violence in Herkimer County, call 866-4120. For help in Oneida County, call 797-7740.