SABRA ready to aid abuse victims

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

Nancy Travis and her co-workers try to do what they can to make the aftermath of a sexual assault livable.

"I don’t know if you can ever be normal again,&uot; Travis said, "But (we’ll) help you deal with it.&uot;

Travis is the head of the Selma and Black Belt Regional Abuse Sanctuary &045; the SABRA Sanctuary &045; where she and a team of professionally trained workers and volunteers do everything they can to get life back to normal for abused women, including rape victims.

SABRA runs a rape crisis line, sex and domestic abuse counseling and a domestic violence shelter for women and children, among other services.

Travis said SABRA even has a team of trained first responders in rape cases: the Sexual Assault Response Team.

Each of these volunteers &045; all of them

women &045; are trained to meet victims at the emergency room and help everyone involved, including the medical staff.

After a rape is reported, Travis said she suggests that victims go to counseling as soon as possible.

In a counseling situation, Travis said some victims and their families opt to have group sessions. Some victims may require hospitalization.

All of it depends on the person, she said.

Ultimately, Travis said, the most important thing is to report the crime, adding that some women think if they know the assailant, it is not a rape.

Travis said any situation in which a woman is forced to have sex against her will is rape and should be treated like it.