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Sexual harassment affects mental health

Lily Pad SANE Center helps those who have been sexually abused or assaulted.

Photo: Kailey McCarthy

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.

FOX 31 sat down with the local Lily Pad SANE Center to find out just how common sexual harassment is and how it can affect your mental health.

According to Executive Director Mary Martinez - Allen, sexual assault and sexual harassment can happen any time, any where.

The Albany Lily Pad SANE Center works with both children and adults who have undergone sexual abuse.

Martinez - Allen says that this sort of abuse can and does have a negative impact on your mental health.

"Unfortunately things such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and even suicide attempts you know, follow those victims from childhood to adulthood," said Martinez - Allen.

According to Martinez - Allen, victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment often have to deal with both emotional and health consequences.

“Sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual abuse is not something that will just go away. It will never go away, it’s something you live with and you learn how to cope," said Martinez - Allen.

She says getting help is the number one step to recovery.

"I would really really encourage them that they are not alone in this. You know we have a staff of people 24 hours a day where they will never ever have to be alone in that," said Martinez - Allen.

She adds, every situation is different but, the only way to prevent sexual assault is by talking about it.

“That’s the only way we can prevent sexual assault is to talk about it, to realize it is a fact of life, it happens and what is the best way we can prevent it and where do those victims report to," said Martinez - Allen.

If you or someone you know has undergone sexual harassment or sexual abuse, you can contact the Lily Pad crisis line 24 hours a day at 229-435-0074.

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