Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center

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For victims and survivors of sexual assault, the ongoing coverage of the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh can be especially difficult to watch.

The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC) says it’s seen an increase in calls this week to its 24-hour crisis line – some of it in response to Thursday’s testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.

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A new anti-harassment effort in Wichita is targeting sexual violence in bars.

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Wichita Police have identified the woman found dead in her home Tuesday morning as 42-year-old Perla Rodriguez. She was known for her work in helping abused women in the community.

Police determined Rodriguez died of blunt-force trauma. WPD spokesman Officer Charley Davidson says her boyfriend has been arrested and taken into custody for first-degree murder.

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The Wichita Family Crisis Center and the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center have created a new partnership to provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sumner and Cowley Counties.

Through new funding by the Kansas Governor’s Grants Program, the two agencies will now be able to provide support with safety planning, crisis counseling, medical and legal advocacy, and assistance with emergency shelter if needed.

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Several federal grants intended to assist survivors of domestic and sexual violence are set to be released in the coming months. Groups across Kansas met at the statehouse in Topeka on Thursday to discuss a new strategic plan for the grant process.

The governor’s office annually awards funding provided by the Violence Against Women Act grants program. The money is directed toward organizations that specifically combat sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Three Wichita organizations were awarded funds to advance local public safety initiatives.