(Beaver Dam) April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and officials with Dodge County’s only domestic violence shelter are using the occasion to remind victims of the services that are available. Bobbi Jo Benz is the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate with PAVE which stands for Protect, Advocate, Validate and Educate. On WBEV’s Community Comment, she highlighted some of the services their organization offers such as a 24-hour shelter plus a 24-hour crises line and a texting line.
Benz says they also have options counseling, active listening and self-esteem building, prevention education and support during court hearings and doctor examinations. She says they also have a Sexual Assault Response Team and a Domestic Abuse Response Team who are a team of professionals, law enforcement and the medical field dedicated to helping victims.
Benz also shared PAVE’s 2018 numbers which includes assisting 35 males, 75 females and one individual who is transgendered. Benz says sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact – like assault and rape – but also harassment, catcalling and the non-consensual sharing of private images. She encourages anyone experience such acts to reach out to PAVE. PAVE’s crises line is 800-775-3785, their texting hotline is 920-344-0123 and their website is www.pavedc.org.