Haskell hospital and Hendrick raise awareness of sexual abuse resources for rural communities

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HASKELL, TX (KTAB) – Haskell Memorial Hospital and Hendrick Medical Center teamed up to raise awareness of sexual assault resources in rural cities.

Hendrick’s full-time Forensic Nurse Examiner, Ann Marie Willoughby was brought in to the hospital’s education classroom this evening to share that underreporting of the crime reaches beyond big city limits.

“What we found is that in rural areas people are less likely to report because everyone knows each other or they have this fear that they may not be believed,” Willoughby said

She reiterated that the role of nurses and examiners like her are not to judge those that make an assault outcry.

“Every patient that walks in our room is reminded that this is a nonjudgemental area,” said Willoughby.

Willoughby also said she and other nurses travel to neighboring cities, such as to Brownwood and Eastland, because bringing their services closer to surviviors increases the likelihood that they’ll move forward with the help they need.

Willoughby says once a person comes forward to a hospital or authorities with a sexual assault claim they will be introduced to an agent that can provide further resources, but she also mentioned the following Big Country agencies that can help after an assault or incident of abuse:

The Noah Project

The Regional Victims Crisis Center

Abilene Police Department

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