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GBMC SAFE/DV Community Collaborations: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

April 8, 2022

GBMC’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence (DV) Program provides confidential services to victims of sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking and domestic violence. Our SAFE and DV program plays a critical role in getting justice for victims by partnering with law enforcement.

In our third educational webinar of the GBMC SAFE/DV Community Collaboration, GBMC SAFE Nurse Pam K. Gillin, MSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, SANE-P, was joined by Sergeant Moe Greenberg from the Baltimore County Police Special Victims Unit to discuss sexual assault awareness and prevention. Both Gillin and Sergeant Greenberg have years of experience working with sexual assault and abuse cases. The two discussed the invaluable relationship between GBMC SAFE/DV and local law enforcement agencies.

The video above contains details of the partnership between the GBMC SAFE and DV Program and the Baltimore County Police, as well as information as to how community members can help prevent these crimes from happening to our children, friends and neighbors.

Important Takeaways:

  • Both teams always start by believing the victim. At GBMC, the SAFE and DV Suite was designed to make patients feel comfortable. The SAFE nurse works with each patient individually, giving them back control. Patients coming to GBMC for care are not required to report to law enforcement right away, or at all, but the team always presents all options available to victims.
  • The GBMC SAFE and DV team and local law enforcement rely on each other for critical details. Some survivors may disclose details to law enforcement and others may share more with the SAFE nures or victim advocate. The two teams work together to gather as many details as possible to help build a case. In some cases, the officers can provide information from the crime scene that will help the SAFE nurse to conduct the forensic exam.
  • There are many signs to look for if you think someone in your life is being sexually abused. In children specifically, a child who is usually social may suddenly withdraw, their grades may begin to drop, or they might suddenly show signs of uncharacteristic sleepiness or change in eating habits. Teachers are mandated to report suspected abuse. During the COVID-19 lockdown, law enforcement felt like they “lost their eyes and ears” by not having children in school.
  • The two teams have the same goal in mind: to care for the patients' mental and emotional health and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The first few moments of engaging with a victim are critical and set the tone for the entire process. GBMC and law enforcement work together on the healing process for patients. GBMC’s team recently implemented a new program for adolescent victims of abuse that helps them to know they are not alone.
  • Sergeant Greenberg also shared helpful tips for internet safety and the use of drugs and alcohol. Greenberg shared that parents should utilize parental controls and be open with their children about the dangers of the internet. Additionally, Greenberg said drugs and alcohol are prevalent in cases of sexual assault. When an individual is in an environment with alcohol and potentially dangerous drugs, he said to always have a plan, make drinks yourself, and always keep open containers covered with your hand.

The GBMC SAFE/DV Program does not bill their patients for any of the services provided. The program relies on grants and philanthropic donations. You can support the program by registering for the 7th Annual Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event on April 23 or participating in the 2022 Miles Challenge.

Here is how you can participate:

  • Register online, make a donation and join the Miles Challenge, just click “Log your Miles”
  • Send the message “WAM” to GBMC Facebook Messenger or @gbmchealthcare on Instagram

Help us reach our goal of 10,000 miles walked and $100,000 raised!

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