Morris County Recognizes National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Published on April 28, 2023
Local Community Ambassadors Honored at Commissioners Meeting
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,” stated Director Krickus.
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,” stated Bossardet-West.
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.
Please visit the Atlantic Behavioral Health website for more information on the Sexual Assault Program.
The Board also adopted a resolution declaring April 23-29, 2023, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Morris County during the Commissioners meeting. Director Krickus presented a framed proclamation on behalf of the Commissioners to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at their annual Recognition and Remembrance Event held earlier in the day.
Visit the Official Website of Morris County, NJ to read the full story about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Photo 1: (l-r) Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen, Deputy Director Christine Myers, Director John Krickus, Sherry Aitchinson, LPC of the Morris County Sexual Assault Program at Atlantic Behavioral Health, Kerri Bossardet-West, LCSW and Manager of Atlantic Behavioral Health, Commissioners Stephen Shaw and Deborah Smith
Photo 2: (l-r) Director John Krickus, Sherry Aitchinson, LPC at Atlantic Behavioral Health’s Sexual Assault Program, and Kerri Bossardet-West, LCSW and Manager of Atlantic Behavioral Health.
Photo 3: (l-r) Director John Krickus, Kerri Bossardet-West, LCSW and Manager of Atlantic Behavioral Health and Sherry Aitchinson, LPC at Atlantic Behavioral Health’s Sexual Assault Program.