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.

Family Matters at Roma Bakery

Lansing’s Roma Bakery is a constantly buzzing place on Fat Tuesday, but it’s not the business impact that means the most to Mena and Sostine Castriciano, the couple that runs the bakery. The impact of family and friends is what means the most to them. Roma needs extra help on hectic days like Fat Tuesday, and that’s where the impact is felt. As the customers flock to Roma to get their paczki fill before Lenten season begins, family and friends flock to Roma to help bake them. “Last night we probably had 25 family and friends here packaging, and coating, and filling, and, you know, frying and baking the paczki,” said John Dann, who is a nephew of Mena and Sostine that was there to help out. Dann typically works as an insurance agent in Okemos.

Gun Control Back on National, Local Stage

The future of gun control in America is currently a blurry picture. Proponents of new legislation are pushing for a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, as well as a ban on high capacity ammunition magazines. There is also a push for universal background checks. Meanwhile, gun rights advocates are pushing back and insisting that no new gun legislation will stop criminals from committing crimes. The only thing both sides can seem to agree on is the need for further mental health studies for a potential gun purchaser.