Valley organization advocates for importance of sexual assault allegations

Published: Feb. 11, 2019 at 6:46 PM EST
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As more allegations of sexual assault come out against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, organizations throughout the valley are advocating the seriousness of believing survivors.

"Whether they're reporting it, whether they're going right away to get a perp kit done and then testifying in a trial," Justin Lingenfelter, of New Directions Center, said. "All these experiences can be really traumatizing that's why it's important to believe survivors."

New Directions Center in Staunton said often times when a victim is assaulted they go into fight or flight mode.

This can cause a victim to not remember every detail of an attack.

"Most people ask why didn't you fight them off or why didn't you run," Lingenfelter, said. "It's because more often then none you get in a freeze mode and that's what makes it difficult to go back and recount every detail."

New Directions said for every 1,000 sexual assault cases only about five percent of perpetrators actually get incarcerated.

New Directions Center is a non-profit organization working in the Shenandoah Valley to reduce the impact and occurrence of domestic and sexual violence.