Lansing sexual assault centers reflect on Nassar scandal

The Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal has been directly associated with Michigan State University, but the impact of Nassar’s crimes goes further than MSU’s campus. End Violent Encounters Inc. (EVE) and the Firecracker Foundation are Lansing-based non-profit organizations that provide support services to victims of sexual assault.

“It’s mainly all about support and empowerment,” said Leah Davidson, volunteer coordinator at EVE. “We do lots of things for healing such as support groups and one-on-one counseling, just so they can heal from the trauma they experienced.”

Since it was founded in 1977, EVE’s central focus has been to aid victims of violence, but its services didn’t always extend to survivors of sexual abuse. EVE used to solely center its assistance towards victims of domestic violence, hence its former name, Council Against Domestic Assault, until sexual assault-related services were formally added to the organization in 2015. EVE utilizes a variety of methods to help survivors, including therapy, which Executive Director Erin Roberts said is contingent on the experiences of the victim.

Sexual objectification: Is it a problem? How do we solve it?

EAST LANSING, Mich. — During Halloween in 2016, Sharon Thomas, a human biology major at University of Michigan, was walking through the neighborhood of Cedar Village around 8 p.m. when a man called her from across the street. “He said, ‘Hey, baby, you look fine,’ then he ran over to me from across the road,” said Thomas.  “I didn’t really register what he was doing at the moment.”

Thomas said the man ran up to her and grabbed her waist while complimenting her. She pushed him away physically, but she couldn’t get him out of her mind.