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State by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women each April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month), the evening event includes a rally, talks by policymakers and survivors, and vendor booths providing information on resources and services — including Wayne State social work degree programs. Members of the Wayne State’s Phi Alpha Society have also teamed up with Metro Detroit S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) to educate hotels on sex trafficking, label bars of motel soap with the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and pass out missing children posters in advance of the North American International Auto Show.

Improving Help-Seeking Experiences Too often, survivors of sexual assault who seek help report feeling blamed and intimidated by the systems meant to assist them. Whether through lack of training, empathy, or cultural competence, further

traumatization by criminal justice, health care and social service professionals can complicate and impede survivors’ recovery. Led by Associate Professor Debra Patterson, the School of Social Work is working to improve survivors’ help-seeking experiences through research and evaluation at the national level. A chief focus of Patterson’s work has been the efficacy of sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) programs, which include specialized medical care and medical forensic exams by trained nurses and crisis intervention by skilled advocates. With a team of students, Patterson has conducted multiple studies on survivor responses to SAFE programs and concluded they are improving the emotional well-being of help-seekers and strengthening interconnections among legal, health care and socials systems — resulting in increased prosecution of sexual assault cases. Patterson has also made

AR EA E X P E RTS

Carolyn Dayton CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

Poco Kernsmith HARNESS TECHNOLOGY

Debra Patterson SMART DECARCERATION

Stella Resko ECONOMIC INEQUALITY

Joanne Smith-Darden FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

Arlene Weisz

JUSTICE

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Profile for WSU SSW 1

WSU SSW Rising Challenge 2017  

WSU SSW Rising Challenge 2017  

Profile for wsussw1
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