News Department

Morris County recognizes National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Local Community Ambassadors Honored at Commissioners Meeting

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The Board of County Commissioners declared April National Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Wednesday’s Commissioners public meeting, where Director John Krickus presented a framed proclamation to members of Atlantic Health System’s (AHS) Behavioral Health Team in recognition of the work being done to spread awareness, promote prevention and encourage support for victims of sexual assault in Morris County.

“There are tens of millions of Americans who have been traumatized by a sexual assault according to statistics released this year by the White House. What makes this information even more troubling is that many cases go unreported… National Sexual Assault Awareness Month serves as a critical reminder that sexual assault is a serious public health issue that requires collective action and commitment to create a safer world where everyone can feel protected,” Krickus said.

Kerri Bossardet-West, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Manager of Atlantic Behavioral Health, and Sherry Aitchinson, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) of the Sexual Assault Program at Atlantic Behavioral Health, were invited to attend the meeting and accepted the proclamation on behalf of AHS.

“Thank you very much for honoring us. We are truly humbled as part of Atlantic Health Systems to be able to support our victims of sexual violence in the community, but also to be able to partner with individuals and organizations in the county to provide education, service and awareness where it is much needed. We certainly want to continue our work throughout the years with the victims,” Bossardet-West said.

Sexual abuse can happen almost anywhere, whether at work, home, school, other public places—or even online—to virtually anyone, regardless of geography, race, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or economic and social background. The trauma of sexual abuse is life-changing for victims and can lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, among other physical and emotional impacts.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, please call the Atlantic Behavioral Health Sexual Assault Program Hotline: 973-829-0587. Confidential support and crisis counseling provided by a professional therapist are available 24/7. Advocates, certified forensic nurses and specially trained law enforcement investigators of Atlantic Health’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) are available to address the medical, emotional and legal needs of survivors 13 years of age and up who are in acute crisis and have been sexually assaulted within a five-day period.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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