Warren County Supervisors recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Warren County Board of Supervisors joined with Haven House Family Shelter Monday to recognize the need for more services in the area.

Attending the meeting Monday were Haven House Executive Director Georgia Grodowitz, Outreach Coordinator Krystal Hamlin and Melanie Barton with the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MSCASA).

“We are working together with the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault and a SART team, which is a Sexual Assault Response Team,” Grodowitz said Monday. “Because sexual assault is connected often with domestic violence.”

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Grodowitz said sexual violence is a serious issue not only in the Warren County area but across the country. She explained that often, a person’s abuser is not a stranger, but someone they know.

Barton addressed the Supervisors as well, thanking them for the opportunity to proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“As violence increases in our communities, sexual assault and domestic violence are a part of those crimes,” Barton said. “It is one of the most under-reported crimes, and so we thank you for the opportunity to lift up this month.”

Board President Kelle Barfield asked the Haven House and MSCASA representatives if there was anything Warren County residents could do to help prevent sexual assault.

Grodowitz responded that the community is in need of a good response system for sexual assault victims — and that’s what Haven House and MSCASA is trying to establish.

“We will be working with Melanie, we have a team together, and that’s the problem we’re trying to solve,” Grodowitz said. “When we do have someone that has happened to, we (need to) have resources available for them.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call Haven House Family Shelter 24 hours a day at 601-638-0555 or 1-800-898-0860.