LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – The Rape Crisis Center (RCC), which serves all of Clark County, continues to realize increasing demand for its services in the first six months of 2017, with marked increases in key year-over-year measurements, most notably the continued rise in the number of victims assisted at the hospital. In the 180 days between January 1 and June 30, 2017, the RCC assisted 380 victims, an eight percent increase over the same time period in 2016. Of the first six months this year, the month of May was the busiest, with 76 victims assisted by the RCC.
In addition to the increase in victims seen at the hospital, the number of active counseling clients served by the RCC is up 48% in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same time frame in 2016. This reflects the rising number of victims seeking help and a continuing trend in which the average number of active counseling clients served per month has nearly doubled in the last two years.
“We have seen a steady increase in the number of victims we serve at the hospital,” said Daniele Dreitzer, Executive Director of The Rape Crisis Center. “June 2016 was one of the busiest months we have ever had, and while we were glad that the numbers decreased slightly in June 2017 from 87 down to 63, unfortunately July 2017 was extremely active, almost reaching the June 2016 number and continuing the increasing trend for the year. We saw eight victims ina single 24 hour period near the beginning of July, which is a truly staggering number,” Dreitzer said.
According to Dreitzer, only those victims who wish to have a forensic sexual assault exam are taken to the hospital and are therefore representative of only a portion of the total number of people experiencing and reporting sexual assault. RCC staff and volunteers are on call 24 hours, 365 days per year to meet victims at the hospital, and provide support and information immediately, then continuing to provide counseling and support services for as long as the victim needs.
“We have experienced steady increases in the number of victims coming forward and seeking help, and it’s the mission of The Rape Crisis Center to make sure they receive those desperately needed services 24/7/365. It’s also part of our mission to do everything we can to help prevent sexual assaults before they happen, and we want everyone to know that prevention is possible. You can bring our prevention programs to your child’s school, be an active bystander, which we have seen some amazing examples of shared on social media, or volunteer with our organization. Everyone has a role and a seat at the table to impact this issue,” said Dreitzer.
As we enter the new school year, The Rape Crisis Center reminds the Las Vegas community that it offers proven free, age-appropriate educational prevention programs for elementary, middle and high school students. The Child Assault Prevention (CAP) program for children grades one through three, empowers children to know their rights and how to get help. The Safety Prevention Awareness Curriculum for Everyone (YourSPACE) teaches teens about personal space and boundaries, how to be safe in relationships and social responsibility. These free programs are available for schools, churches, community centers, etc. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact the RCC at http://www.rcclv.org or call 702-385-2153.
Trained volunteers are essential to the RCC, especially as the organization is faced with meeting the growing demand for services. Volunteers assist with answering the hotline and meeting victims at UMC for forensic exams during non-business hours.
The organization has made efforts over these last two years to grow the volunteer program, including fielding moe volunteer training courses and graduating more volunteers. As a result, RCC trained volunteers performed 2,188 hours of services through the first six months of this year, a slight increase over the 2,149 volunteer hours completed during the same period in 2016. However, in the last 12 months the number of volunteer hours is up 38% compared to the previous 12 months.