Hope Harbor, Inc.: A Sexual Trauma Recovery Center provides non-judgemental and confidential support services for those affected by sexual abuse or assault, and attempt to reduce the risk of victimization through community education. We provide survivors with the opportunity for empowerment through medical and legal advocacy, counseling, and a 24-hour crisis hot line. We offer free age appropriate community education programs for non-profits, schools, professional and community groups. Education topics include: Risk Reduction, Signs of Child Sexual Abuse, Internet Safety, Body Safety, Building Healthy Relationships, and more.
Hope Harbor, Inc. FAQ
Q: What is Sexual Assault?
A: Sexual assault is a broad category of actions in which sexual acts and/or sexual innuendos are preformed without consent or upon a person who is unable to give consent. Sexual assault is perpetuated in many forms. Sexual Assault occurs anytime a person is forced into a sexual act, though force does not always include physical violence. There are many facets of force: verbal threats, overpowering, using a weapon, drugging someone, abusing authority or taking advantage of someone or their situation. Sexual assaults include any non consensual, forced, or coerced sexual. It can be oral, vaginal, or anal penetration-regardless of how slight. Other sexual assaults include grabbing or touching private areas. Even obscene phone calls or attempted sexual assault can be very frightening. One form of sexual assault is rape. Rape is defined in terms of forced sexual intercourse, but it is not primarily a sexual experience for the rapist or the victim. Rape is an act of power and control; a crime of violence needed to show power over, or to express anger against another person.
Q: How do I talk to my preschooler about body safety?
A: It is important to talk to your child about body safety. 1 in 3 girls and 1in 6 boys will be sexually abused or assaulted by the time they turn 18. So, the earlier the better. A child is more likely to experience sexual abuse by someone the child knows and loves, so it makes it even more difficult for them to tell. But, here are some basic tips about how to talk to your child about body safety and how to reduce their risk of victimization. 1. Make sure that your child knows the appropriate names of their private areas 2. Explain to the child that private areas are the parts people keep covered in bathing suits. 3. Give child examples or ask them for examples of "Safe, Happy Touches"(i.e. hugs, handshakes, high fives, etc.) 4. Ask the child, how these safe touches make them feel? (i.e. good, safe, happy, protected, loved, etc.) 5. Give the child or ask them for examples of an "Ouch Touch"(i.e. pinches, punches, kicks, hit, bites, etc.) 6, Define what an "Uh-Oh Touch" : When a person touches a child's private body parts for no good reason. 7. Tell them "Uh-Oh Touches" make people feel.(i.e. sad, mad, confused, yucky feeling in tummy, scared, upset, etc.) 8. Explain when it is okay for a person to touch private parts (i.e. helping them bathe, changing diapers, due to injury of the private area, or going to the doctor) 9. Identify things they can do if someone touches them in ways they didn't like (i.e. Say NO, GO to a safe place, and/or TELL a grown-up they trust) 10. Ask them who are grown-ups they trust
Q: How do I support a victim of sexual assault or abuse?
A: Most victims have a profound terror that they will not be believed by their family, friends, and society will blame them for the assault. 1. BELIEVE the victim 2. DON'T ask "Why" or "How" questions (i.e. "Why were you there?" or "How could you let this happen?") 3. Tell them "It is not your fault!" 4. Empower the victim by asking "Can I help you?" or "What can I do for you?" 5. Encourage (do not push) the victim to seek help through counseling 6. Research and share resources that might be able to help empower them to make their own choices 6. As a friend or relative, you can seek services too.
Q: How do I access services from Hope Harbor?
A: Hope Harbor, Inc. is the designated rape crisis center for the Barren River Area Development District covering Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky. We provide free support services to victims and their family and friends. Services offered by Hope Harbor are counseling, medical and legal advocacy, 24-hour crisis hot line, and community education. The agency has counseling offices in the cities of Bowling Green, Glasgow, and Franklin. To schedule free counseling service call (270) 782-5014. You can always access our 24-hour Crisis Hot Line by calling 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). For more information, please visit www.hopeharbor.net .
Q: What are the warning signs of childhood sexual abuse?
A: Sexually abused children often exhibit behaviors that indicate abuse. While these behaviors may be also be indicative of other problems in the children's lives, it is important to observe a child who exhibits one or more of these behaviors as they may be the only communication the child provides revealing his/her problem. Some Behavioral indicators of Child Sexual Abuse : Sleeping problems and/or nightmares, depression or withdrawal from friends and family, difficulties at school, unusual aggressiveness, sexually acting out, unusual interest in or avoidance of things sexual in nature, statements about their bodies are dirty or damaged, aspect of sexual molestation in drawings, games, or fantasy play, compulsive masturbation, and others.