New support group for adult sexual assault survivors

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Adult sexual assault survivors of North Central West Virginia will soon have a new remedial outlet.

Matt Kerner and Shauna Jones start the first support group in Buckhannon for adult sexual assault victims.

Currently Kerner hosts support groups for all kinds of recovery at the Opportunity House in Buckhannon, sexual assault included. Kerner says he has experience with assault survivors.

""I've dated women who were abused," says Kerner.

"I'd just move quick and they'd duck. That's a powerful feeling to know that someone has been conditioned to do that."

According to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, one in six women in the state are victims of forcible rape.

Women are not the only victims though. The group will be coed according to co-founder Shauna Jones.

Although the majority of rape victims in the state are teenagers, also according to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, Jones explains the importance of adult survivors getting help.

"If you don't find a way to start dealing with the trauma, it can have lifelong impact on education employment, and healthy relationships," says Jones.

"That's our main reason for starting this group."

Jones and Kerner say they plan for meetings to begin in about one month. They will most likely be held at the Opportunity House and are open to all survivors regardless of county of residence.