Domestic violence/sexual assault services answers multiple needs

    Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services (DASAS) has a message for area people in connection with April’s National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
    “It’s not a matter that they don’t know what services we offer,” said Director Donna Goad. “A lot of people with rural counties don’t know that services are available.”
    The agency covers Chase, Dundy, Hitchcock, Hayes, Red Willow, Furnas and Frontier Counties.
    Even if people do know that services are available, Goad said, they may not be able to get past the stigma that comes with domestic violence.
    “The biggest issue with sexual assault that we deal with is because of the intimate [nature], a lot of people don’t want others to know about it and they don’t want to report it, they don’t want to go through the criminal justice system,” she said. “The problem that we see down the road, they start having flashbacks and things. Unless they work through their trauma, it can come back to haunt them.”
    To combat those problems, DASAS offers a variety of confidential services, dependent on the individual client’s needs.
    Among the most important is its 24-hour crisis line, Goad said. That offers round-the-clock counseling and support, with counselors—some of them volunteers—available to help the client talk through whatever issues they have and what kind of options there are to deal with them.
    The crisis line’s number is 308-345-5534, or toll-free at 877-345-5534.
    “When someone is in trauma, they don’t think as clearly as they would on a normal day,” Goad said. “We are there as a supportive base; the decision-making is all theirs. We don’t tell them what to do. We just try to give them as much information as we can so they can make informed decisions.”

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