Residents of the Greater Lansing community will begin seeing exterior and interior advertisements running from now until December on CATA buses promoting Michigan State University’s on-campus Sexual Assault Healthcare Program, which celebrates its second anniversary.
The ads are one of many efforts to drive awareness of the program as a part of the Know More. Do More. Support More. campaign, which focuses on providing guidance for how to respond to disclosures of relationship violence, sexual assault or abuse, sexual harassment and stalking in a manner that is helpful to survivors as well as promoting the availability of related campus resources and services.
“We hope that the bus ads will assist us in spreading the word about the availability of services to survivors in the Greater Lansing area,” said Tana Fedewa, director of the Center for Survivors. “The Sexual Assault Healthcare Program offers an alternative to the hospital emergency room for people who want to access care following a sexual assault.”
The state-of-the-art facility offers free and confidential medical care 24 hours a day to individuals who have experienced sexual assault and is co-located with the MSU Center for Survivors on the second floor of the Student Services Building at 556 E. Circle Drive on the MSU campus. Reserved parking is available for patients.
“We focus on providing the most trauma-informed, compassionate services by caring professionals,” said Sameerah Shareef, director of the program.
The Sexual Assault Healthcare Program opened doors the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to supporting survivors of sexual assault no matter the circumstances.
Shareef explained that there was a greater need for this program in the Lansing community, as there is only one other sexual assault health care provider in the area. For MSU survivors, finding transportation to the off-campus facility may be difficult, and those seeking care may experience long wait times, as it services patients across the Lansing area.
“We hope to alleviate some of these pressures for our patients, giving them a safe, accessible space to be treated after experiencing one of the most traumatic experiences,” said Shareef.
The program is equipped with specially trained sexual assault nurse examiners who offer patients the following options:
- Medical Forensic Exam within 120 hours of the assault
- Antibiotics for the prophylactic treatment of the most common sexually transmitted infections
- Evidence collection, including DNA, within 120 hours of the assault
- Pregnancy prevention within 120 hours of the assault
- Photographic evidence collection of injuries sustained
- Referrals for medical and emotional support
The partner with specially trained medical advocates who respond 24/7 to the program to offer support and information about reporting options, crime victim rights and resources to survivors.
The university’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup recommended the university create such a trauma-informed, inclusive and accessible sexual assault health care program as a part of the university’s RVSM Strategic Plan.
A sexual assault nurse examiner advisory board was formed to work in partnership with the Center for Survivors, Forensic Nursing Consultant Jenifer Markowitz and the International Association of Forensic Nurses, leading to the development of a facility customized to the needs of sexual assault survivors and training for clinical staff in the national model for sexual assault patient care.
Though this program’s priority is student health, it is also open to employees and community members in the Greater Lansing area.
For updates on the program, visit centerforsurvivors.msu.edu.
Know More. Do More. Support More. is funded by a Victims of Crime Act grant award administered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Victim Services.