A program at Quality Behavioral Health mends lives of sexual assault victims

CLARKSTON, WA - Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.

Veronica Miracle reports on how a local group is working to combat those staggering numbers.

One person is all it takes to support a sexual assault victim. That's the idea behind the 'Community Sexual Assault Program' at Quality Behavioral Health.

"They are a support person and they go through a thirty hour training and that's what we're doing here," said Community Sexual Assault Program, Program Director Sara Kern.

Sara Kern is the program director for the group that serves Asotin and Garfield Counties. Kern takes people through the emotional, mental and physical traumas that a victim goes through.

"After they've gone through that training they have better skills for active listening, being a good support, empowerment, crisis intervention," said Kern.

Desiree Bernal is a new volunteer. She's learned that believing every sexual assault victim whether you have doubts about their story or not is vital.

"It really takes that power away from them again when it's already been taken away and that's a really hard thing to deal with," said Bernal. "So just believing that person and just empathizing with them and not playing it down."

"If I can lend a compassionate ear and help them regain control of their lives and empower them then that's what I wanted to do," said Quality Behavioral Health Advocate, Dawn Berreth.

This group can now volunteer or work for Quality Behavioral Health as little or as much as they'd like. Volunteering for their 24-hour-crisis line or assisting a victim through the legal process are just a few of the ways they'll help the community.

If you want to volunteer or learn more about the Community Sexual Assault Program, head to our Facebook page for more information.