BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Birmingham Police Department and Crisis Center want to spread awareness regarding sexual assault and what people who are victims or know victims should do.
Sexual assault is being forced into some sort of unwanted sexual activity. Birmingham police officers remind people of the warning signs of sexual assault, such as signs of depression, withdrawing from normal behaviors, low self-esteem and involving in self-harming behaviors.
CBS 42 spoke to a rape response outreach coordinator at the crisis center and the Birmingham Police Department on what people should do when they think someone is a victim of sexual assault.
“They could recommend they go to our places like one place or the crisis center where we have advocates that they could probably make you feel comfortable to may be reveal whatever, somebody done something to them and maybe that will want to go further and then the police department will get notified,” Maximillian Price, a BPD detective, said.
“If you recognize someone, first of all is you want to say, ‘I believe you’ and ‘I’m going to support you’ in whatever decision you make, whether they are choosing to report to authorities or not and then reaching out to the crisis center,” said Jess Tomlinson, rape response outreach coordinator at the Crisis Center. “We do have rape response, so our services are 24/7, and they can call us and either report sexual assault or just get a sexual assault examination done.”
They told CBS 42 sexual assaults not only affect women but men as well. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, contact the crisis center at 205-328-8255 or call 911 or visit the crisis center website at crisiscenterbham.org.