Free online training offered for the care of sexual assault patients

QUINCY (WGEM) — There is free training available through the Iowa Attorney General’s Office that may better prepare you to help victims of sexual assault.

Carmalitta Baum, coordinator of the Lee and Van Buren County Rape Advocacy Program, said these trainings focus on recognizing signs of sexual assault and on approaching and interacting with survivors.

It is available not only for medical officials, but also for law enforcement, social workers, and even civilians.

Baum said it can be difficult to communicate with those who have been through so much.

“It’s almost like you take a vase and break it, it’s kind of what trauma does to the mind and the situation, so when you’re investigating a sexual assault it’s not going to be like to if you were investigating a robbery or something some kind of robbery or assault,” she said.

She said the course can teach people to take a more sensory approach when talking with survivors so they can describe what happened to them without having to relive the trauma of the attack.

Those in the Lee County Health Department say the availability of trainings can better help and support victims.

Community outreach and development project coordinator Breanna Kramer said some nurses and staff in her department were interested in taking the training.

“It’s really important that people in a position to help others are able to do that and recognize those signs of trauma and recognize that that person needs help,” she said.

Kramer said the online setting not only makes it more convenient for people, but also more comfortable because of the topics covered.

The 4-module course will be available for three years and is listed on the University of Iowa Continuing Medical Education website. You can register here.

For more information, you can call the Rape Victim Advocacy Program at 319-541-0963 or the Lee County Health Department at 319-372-5225 and ask for Breanna.

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