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Kansas City health providers are worried the NFL Draft could bring a rise in sexual abuse

A woman sitting at left inside a radio studio talks at a microphone while a woman sitting at right listens.
Carlos Moreno
Becky Fink, left, the forensic nurse program manager at Advent Health, talks on KCUR's Up To Date with Kimberly Paul, the director of community programs at Safehome, talks on on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

Advocates for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse say that events revolving around alcohol consumption, like the Super Bowl or NFL Draft, can escalate violence against women.

As Kansas Cityprepares for the NFL Draft this week, health care professionals and domestic violence shelters are worried about an increase in sexual assault and domestic violence.

"[E]vents like Super Bowls or even like the Draft or other big events coming up can certainly increase alcohol consumption, which can escalate and enhance violence occurring," said Kimberly Paul, director of community programs at Safehome, a domestic violence shelter in Overland Park, Kansas.

The shelter works closely with nurses like Becky Finke, the forensic nurse program manager at Advent Health.

Finke is a FACT nurse, or forensic assessment consultation and treatment nurse (similar to a SANEnurse). FACT nurses are trained to provide emotional and physical care for victims of abuse, as well as collect evidence to work with law enforcement officials.

Sexual assault occurs every 68 seconds in America, according to RAINN, and women are the most common victims.

"Last year we had a total of 619 assault cases that came to our hospital, with 130 of those being domestic violence cases," said Finke.

You can call Safehome's hotline anytime at 913-262-2868.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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