Chesapeake Partners Recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April 6, 2023
CHESAPEAKE, Va. – To acknowledge Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and demonstrate their dedication to treating victims, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare and Chesapeake City Hall are lighting their buildings in teal during the month of April and Denim Day will be celebrated April 26 throughout the hospital. The Chesapeake Police Department is also showing their support by placing teal ribbons on some of their police cars this month.
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare began its interpersonal violence prevention and response program in 2020. Healing Opportunities Providing Empowerment (HOPE), is the only one of its kind in Chesapeake. The multi-disciplinary, hospital-based program assists victims who are experiencing intimate partner violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking.
The program includes a prevention training program for hospital staff and community members, and works closely with community-based providers to help victims. Meredith Noha, program coordinator, has also developed a trauma-informed training program for Chesapeake Police Department officers. She says, “Our partnership with the City of Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Police Department is key to our success. We work very closely to make sure victims receive services specific to their individual needs.”
“By continuing to work with the HOPE program, we believe we are providing an invaluable asset to the citizens of this city, especially those victimized at the hands of others,” says T.D. Branch, Deputy Chief of Police.
Noha and her team are on-call 24/7 for everything from court accompaniment to emergency housing. The program collaborates with other community organizations including the HER Shelter, Chesapeake Victim Witness Services, the Chesapeake Police Department and a food pantry for victims and their families.
HOPE received over 120 referrals during in 2022 and since the inception of the program has assisted nearly 350 individuals.