Carson City’s sex-assault resources are good, Public Health officer says

City resources for sexual assault victims are top-notch, but it isn’t easy to curb the number of such attacks, Carson City Public Health Officer Susan Pintar said Friday.

“I think that they are among the best,” Pintar said of the resources, adding that they’re needed because she doesn’t see the number of attacks decreasing.

The physician, who also is the chairwoman of the city’s Board of Health, responded to a question about trends in the aftermath of her report last Wednesday regarding health in general and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), which she re-instituted upon becoming the city’s Public Health officer.

The SART part of the report showed 56 sex-offense reports in 2012 and 26 through about the first half of this year. It showed 53 Sexual Assault Response Advocate clients and accompaniments in 2012, compared with 19 the first half of this year. Accompaniments basically are client/advocate matchups to aid victims.

The report also showed 730 protective and stalking orders in 2012, but just 310 the first half of this year.

Despite surface appearance, this year’s first-half statistics look better than last year’s for all 12 months. Pintar said the appearance is illusory. She said that is because summer may produce more incidents, as well as other factors. She referred questions about details and trend lines to Lisa Lee of Carson City’s Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

Lee and Traci Trenoweth, coordinator for the Sexual Assault Response Advocates program, agreed with Pintar that a downtrend didn’t appear likely if one checks history.

“We have gone up pretty significantly,” Trenoweth said, looking at longer-term data and related matters. She said that by the specific definition of accompaniments, the number was in the 50s last year but there were actually more than 70 incidents involved in reaching the lower number.

She also said sexual assaults can be few for a while, then spike.

“I wish it was going the other way,” she said.

Lee, meanwhile, joined Pintar in saying the resources available are good. She called the city “really fortunate” to have a good relationship with those in the health care field, for example.


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