Aurora to Expand Services Dedicated to Survivors of Sexual Assault

Wisconsin Department of Justice grant to help fund advocacy efforts for ‘rape crisis center’

January 31, 2017

Milwaukee – Aurora Health Care today announced plans to expand services designed to benefit survivors of sexual assault in the Milwaukee area, made possible in part by the receipt of a substantial grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Through its “rape crisis center,” Aurora plans to build upon its current programs and offer a full continuum of services, including acute care, long-term counseling and advocacy.

Three Aurora programs will be part of this new center:

  • The Sexual Assault Treatment Center at Aurora Sinai Medical Center (with services available at Aurora West Allis Medical Center),
  • The Healing Center, located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, which provides long-term counseling and support services to help survivors recover, and
  • Safe Mom Safe Baby, also based at Aurora Sinai, which supports pregnant women who live in an abusive environment.

“For many years, state, municipal and community leaders have lamented the lack of a rape crisis center in Milwaukee,” said Mark Huber, senior vice president, social responsibility for Aurora Health Care. “In the near future, thanks to significant financial support from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, we will be better able to fill this gap and more fully meet the needs of our community.”

The SATC and The Healing Center have historically provided counseling, hotline services and forensic examinations, but have had limited funding for advocacy. Under the new model, Aurora advocates will provide initial crisis intervention, medical and police accompaniment, assistance through legal proceedings, referrals to appropriate services and support throughout the healing process. This model is consistent with services offered by other rape crisis centers in major cities across the country.

Aurora received a $714,621 supplemental VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice for these purposes. 

“Aurora has been a strong leader in helping survivors of sexual assault recover and heal,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “As attorney general I am very pleased to be able to partner with the professionals at Aurora because they understand the importance of a compassionate, trauma-informed approach to assisting survivors. Milwaukee has a real need for a ‘rape crisis center’ and I applaud Aurora for stepping forward to fill this gap and committing the time, energy, and resources to help survivors heal.”

While Aurora has a long history of providing direct care for survivors of sexual assault, it has also supported community organizations through the Aurora Health Care Better Together Fund that offer prevention and treatment services. Since 2015, Aurora has contributed $4.8 million to more than 30 organizations across its footprint.

In the near future, the new center will be given a formal name that builds on the center and is respectful of survivors.

About Aurora Health Care:
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 33,000 caregivers. As evidenced by more than 300 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

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