Professionals from the Methodist Health System, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Omaha Police Department and the Women's Center for Advancement are teaming up for a Twitter chat about sexual assault awareness at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“When we came up with the idea we were really shooting to increase awareness, education and preventative measures,” said Jenni Stoll, one of the organizers at Methodist.
The groups hope to prevent sexual assault and highlight local resources available for victims, including the SANE/SART program at Methodist Hospital in Omaha.
SANEs, or sexual assault nurse examiners, and the SART, sexual assault response team, perform exams to collect evidence, refer women to counseling services and can put them in contact with law enforcement after an assault. The groups have seen more than 1,000 people since the program was created in 2003. The public can join the chat by using the Twitter hashtag #BeAwareOutThere or by sending messages to @MethodistHealth.
Nearly one in five women is raped in the United States, according to 2012 data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Women between the ages of 18 and 25 experience sexual assault most often.
“The main avenue that that group is using to communicate about things that are important to them is Twitter,” Stoll said. “We thought it was important to reach out to our audience that way.”