Local residents interested in learning more about sexual assault prevention and awareness were invited to a free seminar at West Virginia Northern Community College Saturday.
The seminar, presented by Soroptomist, aimed to educate people on the signs of assault to look for, what to do if you or a loved one has been assaulted, and how to be a helpful bystander.
Sam Wilmoth from West Virginia University led the presentation, and says bystander education is crucial to addressing the issue.
“I think a lot of the research backs up that the responses that bystanders have are just critical. They’re critical in prevention, so sometimes bystanders can do things that make folks safer and prevent a sexual assault from even happening. But those responses are also critical in the aftermath of a sexual assault,” stated Wilmoth.
Wilmoth also encouraged anyone who may need help in an assault or domestic violence situation to reach out to the Sexual Assault Help Center in Wheeling by calling (304) 234-1783. All services are free and confidential.