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Survivor speaks out about sexual assault on college campuses

The first year of college should be a time for learning, building lifelong friendships and self-expression. No one expects to become the victim of sexual assault by a fellow student. In California and other states, one student is speaking out and fighting for legislation to require authorities to have more training and incorporate trauma-based interviewing techniques into the initial interview process.

A 19-year-old woman who was the victim of a sexual assault on her college campus has been working to help other survivors. She claims the biggest hurdle after her ordeal was recalling details to police about the assault. After an interview with a nurse trained in the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview or FETI technique, she could give a complete interview. The woman believes that this FETI technique helped secure a conviction and put her attacker behind bars.

Now at age 23, she has become an advocate for fellow survivors and stresses that sexual assault happens to people of all ages, races and genders and sexual orientations. Each victim responds differently to what happened to him or her, and some may report the assault, while others may not. Regardless, all have the right to be respected and heard. While each journey and experience are different, all share similarities such as a high level of trauma and the feeling of losing control.

Sexual assault is a heinous crime, and victims may suffer long-term effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder while others may never resume a normal lifestyle. Residents in California who are victims of assaults such as this may consider speaking with an attorney. A lawyer can offer advice and guidance to help a victim recover from the trauma and live a full life.

Source: abcnews.go.com, "Sexual assault survivor shares 3 things she wants victims to know", April 6, 2018

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