Oklahoma Law Enforcement Undergo Training in Sexual Assault Response

Published 03/25 2014 06:20PM

Updated 03/25 2014 07:13PM

MIAMI, OK.--- Oklahoma law enforcement agents and community members undergo training to help better respond to sexual assaults. The number of sexual assaults is increasing. Sexual assault response and resource teams are informing communities, when it comes to responding to a victim. 

"As we have been talking, we have already probably experienced several sexual assaults in our nation," said Linda Terrell, Sexual Assault Survivor and Training Director. 

Nationwide, every two minutes a woman is sexually assaulted and one in six men have experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18.

"I think it's important for us as a society to come together and talk about this issue. We often times, because of the delicate nature of this issue in the instances in people's minds, we fail to talk about the most under reporter violent crime in our nation, which is sexual assault," said Terrell. 

Sexual assault response and resource teams conducted training to build a network of teams across Oklahoma. This is to help enhance the ability of response when it comes to sexual assaults victims. 

"We want everyone to know that we hold this responsibility in high regard that any victim of any crime is able to come to us and we'll handle it responsibly," said Kendal Murphy, Wyandotte Police Chief.  

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, a rape occurs every 5-hours 50- minutes and 24-seconds in Oklahoma. Sexual assault survivors feel this program is much needed in communities.

"Develop a team in their community through which they can more effectively respond to sexual assault victims. And enhance the criminal justice system, hopefully leading to justice," said Terrell. 

Experts say the trauma from sexual assault can last for many many years. Victims are more likely to having PTSD than soldiers in combat. Experts say sometimes the best way to help a sexual assault victim is provide them a support system.

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