The Ottumwa Courier

Letters to the Editor

April 3, 2013

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

OTTUMWA — Let’s be honest, “it” is not an easy subject to talk about. Most of us are uncomfortable talking about sex. But let’s take a moment and get past the blushing, because this conversation is so important.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this April, communities across the country are proclaiming “it’s time … to talk about it!” This year’s campaign focuses on healthy sexuality and its connection to child sexual abuse prevention.

By talking about “it,” we are making the connection that promoting healthy behaviors encourages relationships that are consensual, respectful and informed. That is what healthy sexuality is about. Healthy sexuality is having the knowledge and power to express sexuality in ways that enrich our lives. Healthy sexuality is free from coercion and violence.

It is important to understand that sexuality is much more than sex. Healthy sexuality is emotional, social, cultural and physical. It is our values, attitudes, feelings, interactions and behaviors. It changes with time and experience.

All of us have a role in building safe, healthy relationships and communities. When we start the conversation about healthy sexuality, we raise awareness. Prevent sexual violence by talking about “it.” It’s time … to talk about it.

I am the SART coordinator at the Crisis Center & Women’s Shelter in Ottumwa. SART is a Sexual Assault Response Team. The team is a multidisciplinary team consisting of medical, legal, law enforcement and advocacy developed to improve the services for victims of sexual assault. Currently, the SART team in Wapello County and the members are Lily Romero, Crisis Center & Women’s Shelter; Gary Oldenburger and Charlotte Kovacs, Wapello County Attorney’s Office; Steve Harris and Aaron Vose, Ottumwa Police Department; Jeff Layton, Wapello County Sheriff’s Office; Wanda Besco, Family Planning; and myself. There are other outside professionals welcome at meetings such as guidance counselors, aging agencies, case managers, medical personnel, etc.

The development of a SART team is a long process, but once members are on the same page, survivors of sexual assault get a community-coordinated response. The four entities work together to make the victims’ recovery a better process.

Currently there are five SART coordinators in the state of Iowa. Each county is different and brings new challenges and opportunities.

Jennifer Swim

Ottumwa

1
Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Guardian angel rescued me On Dec. 18, I had been to Walmart and as always, I stopped by the Walmart gas station to fill my car up. I got out, pumped gas and I went to get in the car. I locked my keys in! So I had no choice but go see if the cashier could help me. And lo and b

    January 21, 2014

  • Why close plant when it could be cleaned up? Doe Run Company, south of St. Louis, is the third-largest lead smelter in the world and the only one in the western hemisphere. They provide for the lead demand in the U.S. and are a major contributor to the world market. On Dec. 31, they close due

    November 8, 2013

  • Collect lids and fight breast cancer The Southeast Iowa Affiliate of Susan G. Komen represents a 10-county area in its fight to end breast cancer. Your local affiliate is fighting for the screening and treatment programs that save lives and the research that brings us closer to a cure.

    November 8, 2013

  • Who are Tea Party Patriots? First and foremost, if you love God, you may be a Tea Party Patriot. Second, if you love this country we call the United States of America, you may be a Tea Party Patriot. Third, if you value freedom and all the people in our past and present who hav

    November 5, 2013

  • Branstad, please use the heart God gave you To Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa: Please use the heart that God gave you. I am a senior citizen who is suffering needlessly because you have outlawed the only substance that can take away my horrible pain and discomfort. Pharmaceutical narcotics are in

    November 5, 2013

  • Library doing many great things for the community This past week was National Friends of the Library week. Here in Ottumwa, our public library would not be able to provide all the materials, resources and programming that it does without the support and assistance provided by our local Ottumwa Publ

    October 29, 2013

  • It's up to you to make Ottumwa great If a person were truly honest with themselves every time they bought something they would ask, "Am I getting my money's worth?" If the person selling would truly be honest with themselves they might ask, "Have I met or exceeded my customers' expectat

    October 29, 2013

  • Life too complex My knowledge of electronics stops with the on and off switch. I was persuaded to try a new-fangled cell phone. One of the more simple ones. It takes pictures, prints them, records day, date, time. Tells me where I am, where I should be, how I got the

    October 29, 2013

  • Think before voting We just had a Sara Palin type month. Now I hear that the Tea Party wants to take over the Republican Party. They think we have too much government. People out of work, not their problem. People living on the streets, they don't care. The Tea Party th

    October 29, 2013

  • Why micromanage Halloween? I take no pleasure in composing this letter. Once again another year, the Ottumwa police have made their draconian edict of setting the date and hours for beggars night. It's too bad that even a volunteer kids' holiday has fallen under the auspices o

    October 29, 2013

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National