Letter: Speak out and save services for assault victimsSARA, Sexual Assault Resource Agency (formerly Goodhue Wabasha Sexual Assault Services) has been in existence for 15 years as an independent non-profit and a much-needed resource in our community.
By: SARA Board, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
SARA, Sexual Assault Resource Agency (formerly Goodhue Wabasha Sexual Assault Services) has been in existence for 15 years as an independent non-profit and a much-needed resource in our community.
We provide services to victims and survivors of sexual assault and to their family and friends. Last year we served 79 people; this year we have already served 65 and we are barely past mid-year.
This is a strong reminder that sexual assault continues to take place at alarming rates in the counties of Goodhue and Wabasha.
It is estimated by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota that one in three Minnesota women will survive sexual or physical violence by mid-life.
Even with an astounding statistic such as that the Minnesota Legislature wants to decrease public safety funding for the state resulting in a 35 percent cut to sexual assault services. There is another 6.5 percent state cut in sexual assault services from a previous term that will also go into effect this year, meaning Goodhue and Wabasha counties are facing a 41.5 percent cut in victim services while the need for those services here continues to climb.
Words cannot even begin to describe how that would affect victims and survivors of crime served on a daily basis. Services that are now offered in our community for crisis situations may not be able to be responded to in the manner that they are now.
We strongly urge the people of Red Wing and the surrounding communities to take a minute to contact their representatives and speak out about how a budget cut of such magnitude would dismantle a vital resource to our community that helps so many people.
Many of us know one person who has experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, and now is not the time to limit services in our community.
Tilton Davis, coordinator, Goodhue SMART
SARA Board members: