Sexual assault and the importance of getting help

The Lily Pad SANE Center is a resource for sexual assault victims.

Photo: Kailey McCarthy

Last month, the U.S. Gymnastics Team made headlines when over 150 women came forward during the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics Doctor, Larry Nassar.

According tot he Lily Pad SANE Center, only 20% of female victims age 18 to 24 report assault to law enforcement.

Lily Pad Executive Director Mary Martinez - Allen says it's hard to open up after being sexually assaulted but, it's important that victims open up to someone they trust.

If a loved one comes to you saying they have been assaulted, Martinez - Allen says it's important to listen, be supportive and most of all, believe them.

"It is so hard to talk about something that has happened to your most intimate parts of your body. Not only is it traumatic when it happens but it's traumatic for the rest of your life. It's so hard to say yes, these are the things that have happened to me or to my body and especially if it is with someone that is seen as an authority figure." said Martinez - Allen.

Martinez - Allen says it's important to report immediately if you have been assaulted. Do not bathe, brush your teeth or tamper with your clothing.

According to Martinez - Allen, there are victim advocates at the Lily Pad who can work with victims.

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