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ACT helps spread word about SANE

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

As the educational arm of Ellis County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Services, ACT Against Violence is working to get the word out about SANE services.

ACT, a group of community members that include Don Scheibler, Hays Police chief, and Charlotte Linsner, Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, developed in 2010 in conjunction with the Sexual Assault Response Team program during the process of establishing SANE services.

After making a connection with a Fort Hays State University leadership studies class that actively was seeking establishment of a SANE program, Soroptimist International of Hays sponsored a community meeting in 2010 to bring interested parties together to discuss launching a SANE program.

"Just to get those people together to start talking to the hospital, the county, the police, Options, advocates," Lori Post, ACT member, said of the initial meeting. "Then at the second meeting, there were state people there, from Topeka and Wichita.

"It was a really good meeting. ... And we wanted to see it through, not just get those people together. We wanted to do something to make sure it happened."

Other ACT members include Wanda Kuhn, Mary Meier and Tammey Walker, also members of Soroptimist of Hays.

"The (Soroptimist) members wanted a hands-on type of thing where they weren't just giving money to an organization and not seeing any results," Meier said.

ACT members, in addition to creating educational materials for the SANE program, have organized fundraising events for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

"Our main goal was always education, and so our first goal was to get our name out there through our brochures," Linsner said.

The ACT brochure provides statistical information on assaults, as well as contact information for Ellis County service providers.

In addition to plans for a fundraising garage sale this spring, ACT has a goal of sponsoring "The Outrage" play, an educational theater performance piece, for local high school students next spring.

Full disclosure: Dawne Leiker is a member of Soroptimist International of Hays.