In The News

Statement on the NFL’s Decision

August 18, 2022

  Cleveland Rape Crisis Center stands with those who have been hurt by Deshaun Watson.     While traditional avenues of criminal justice may have failed his accusers, today’s NFL and NFLPA settlement of increased punishment is a step towards validating their experiences. Healing comes to survivors in many forms. Cleveland Rape Crisis Center believes and...continue

We can help people we see every day avoid or escape human traffickers: Keyna Smith (

January 22, 2021

This article was originally published by on January 22, 2021.   By Keyna Smith, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking and Advocacy CLEVELAND — January is a time to start anew. But January is also a time to remember some of our community’s most vulnerable individuals, as it is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. According to the...continue

Targeted Support for Black Sexual Assault Survivors Coming to Cleveland (ideastream)

December 9, 2020

  This article was originally published by WVIZ ideastream on November 24.   The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is launching a counseling program for Black survivors of sexual assault who are in the middle of legal action. The center will use a curriculum created by Cleveland-area psychologist Tyffani Dent specifically designed for African Americans. Sessions...continue

Ohio’s largest anti-human trafficking operation results in 154 rescues, 179 arrests (

October 26, 2020

This article was originally published by on October 26, 2020.   COLUMBUS, Ohio—Federal, state, and local officials launched what they say is the largest anti-human-trafficking operation in state history last week, rescuing 154 victims and arresting 179 men for illegally soliciting sex and other crimes. During Operation Autumn Hope, which involved more than 50...continue

Crisis funding plummets during pandemic (

October 9, 2020

By: Sondra Miller, President and CEO of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and Melissa Graves, Chief Executive Officer of Journey Center for Safety and Healing (formerly Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center)   It just doesn’t add up. Across our region, survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking are reaching out for help more...continue

Trafficking survivors at high risk during the pandemic (Cleveland 19 News)

August 13, 2020

This story originally appeared on WOIO Cleveland 19 News.   CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Calls to a 24-hour hotline for human trafficking survivors at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center are down 50-percent for the first half of 2020 after years of climbing. Advocates believe it’s all tied to the pandemic. 19 Investigates found they fear...continue

Ambassador Training Workshops Featured on Cleveland 19 News

July 27, 2020

During the past few weeks, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s Virtual Ambassador Training Workshops have seen a huge spike in interest and enrollment. Thank you all who have participated in workshops this summer, and to Cleveland 19 News for covering this story. Watch Now   Want to get involved? Reserve your spot now! August Ambassador Training...continue

10 years later: Promises of reform have not been kept following the Anthony Sowell murders

October 30, 2019

    CLEVELAND — On Oct. 29, 2009, Cleveland police arrived at 12205 Seymour Avenue to serve an arrest warrant on Anthony Sowell. It was a list of charges that would soon grow. Sowell wasn’t home, but inside the home police found the remains of two decomposing bodies. The next day they found an additional...continue

Sexual violence survivors deserve better from the Cleveland police department (

October 4, 2019

  By Sondra Miller, President & CEO, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Guest Columnist, CLEVELAND — I believe you. These three simple words can transform the experiences of a rape survivor. I believe you. This simple statement has the ability to negate the shame and self-doubt that far too many survivors face when reporting their...continue

Red Zone: First weeks of college most dangerous for sexual assault (Fox 8)

September 6, 2019

CLEVELAND — With students back on college campuses, experts say there’s more to worry about than new classes. The first six weeks of the school year are known as the “red zone” because of a spike in reports of sexual assault during the period. “The statistics on undergraduate sexual assault are pretty staggering,” said Sarah...continue

More than 6,000 Cleveland police reports getting another look

March 11 2019

CLEVELAND — Authorities began looking at back-logged rape kits in Cuyahoga County. Some of the police reports connected to those cases have raised red flags, so now, more than 6,000 victim statements are receiving another look. The language officers use to describe their interactions could unknowingly influence an investigation’s outcome. “Sometimes they’re just using language...continue

Teresa Stafford Speaks about Human Trafficking Awareness Month (WKYC)

January 23, 2019

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s Chief Advocacy Teresa Stafford joins WKYC to speak about Human Trafficking Awareness Month. (Story by WKYC) “We could not let the month of January go by without letting you know that this is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. To fill us in on the most important things you need to know about...continue

Black women raped at higher rates and report less than white counterparts (News 5 Cleveland)

January 14, 2019

  CLEVELAND — Survivor after survivor claim they were sexually assaulted by R&B Singer R Kelly, many of them as teenagers, in the Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R Kelly’. “Maybe they stayed in silence because they didn’t feel like they had a way out,” said Teresa Stafford of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Stafford watched the...continue

Proposed legislation eliminates statute of limitations on rape, sexual assault cases (Fox 8)

November 29, 2018

“There is support from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Wednesday night after a state senator proposed a bill that would eliminate Ohio’s Statute of Limitations on rape and sexual assault cases. “‘For the decade I’ve been working here we have been trying to remove the state of limitations,’ said Sondra Miller, President & CEO of...continue

Rape Crisis Center expands across Northeast Ohio (News 5)

October 30, 2018

  “The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center will expand its services for survivors of rape and sexual abuse after receiving $4.6 million in funding through the Attorney General’s Office. Funding came from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program. “Sarah Trimble with the center said they are experiencing an all-time high in calls. In the last two...continue

Rape Crisis Center expanding, hiring in Northeast Ohio to meet greater need (The Plain Dealer)

October 30, 2018

“The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center will expand its services after receiving an additional $1.5 million in federal funds. “The center on Monday afternoon announced plans to open two new standalone facilities, one on the east side of the city and one in Lake County. They also plan to hire 15 people using that grant money. “‘We’ve never...continue

One year after #MeToo movement began, reported sexual abuse cases up (News 5)

October 8, 2018

“KENT, Ohio – The #MeToo movement is one that enabled many sexual abuse victims to speak up. “On the one-year anniversary, experts said there are a higher number of reported sexual abuse cases, and the numbers continue to climb on college campuses. “’We believe an increase in reports reflects a reality on campuses, which means...continue

How to Teach Boys Sexual Ethics (Sound of Ideas)

October 3, 2018

Listen Now Senior Director of Educational Services Alex Leslie joined ideastream’s Sound of Ideas this morning to speak about how parents can talk to their sons about building healthy relationships. “The testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh has called into question our country’s handling of sexual assault allegations. We’ll...continue

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center receives record messages and calls week of Kavanaugh testimony (

October 1, 2018

“The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center received a record number of texts, phone calls and online messages Friday, after Christine Blasey Ford testified that she was sexually assaulted by nominated Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. “On Friday, there were 60 contacts. All week of the hearing — Sept. 23 through Sept. 29 — there were 191...continue

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Sees Uptick During Kavanaugh Hearing (WCPN)

September 28, 2018

“The congressional hearings on alleged sexual assault involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are having an impact on some Cleveland area survivors. “The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center has seen an uptick in activity this week, said the agency’s president and CEO Sondra Miller. “The average number of daily calls to the Cleveland rape crisis and support hotline...continue

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center handling surge of reports in wake of Kavanaugh scandal (Cleveland 19)

September 28, 2018

  “We’re hearing from people who are trying to understand how their friends and family members can say things that are not supportive of survivors. Sometimes they say, ‘They don’t know I’m a survivor, but I’m hearing what they’re saying, and it’s really hurtful.'” – Sondra Miller, President & CEO   Watch: Cleveland Rape Crisis Center...continue

A Message to Survivors

September 28, 2018

  Dear Survivors: We believe you. We hear you. We see you. We support you. We support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and all survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Your voices matter, and your experiences matter. In a nation consumed with a lot of “talk” about sexual assault, please know that we are...continue

Listening To Survivors (ideastream)

September 26, 2018

“We begin with a conversation with Sondra Miller, CEO and President of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, to help answer some of the questions that have arisen this past week, such as why many people choose not to report sexual misconduct to authorities — or why some people don’t come forward with their experience right away, or...continue

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman encourages others to speak up (News 5)

September 26, 2018

“MAYFIELD HEIGHTS – Six-time gold medalist and activist Aly Raisman spoke in Mayfield Heights on Wednesday about the importance of speaking out about sexual assault. “She headlined the National Council of Jewish Women of Cleveland’s opening meeting. “Raisman made headlines when she came forward against Larry Nassar, the gymnastics doctor who sexually abused more than 150 women. ‘I...continue

Why the 'boys will be boys' justification of sexual violence doesn't fly (

September 27, 2018

  “A high school football player is accused of sexually assaulting a teenaged girl at an alcohol-fueled party. “It’s not hard to see the parallels between the sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the 2012 Steubenville rape case. Three decades apart, there is one central difference: Kavanaugh has denied the allegations,...continue

With Cosby sentencing and Kavanaugh allegations, how are rape victims responding? (Cleveland 19)

September 25, 2018

“Bill Cosby’s sentencing comes just as the case against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gets even more heated. “Sondra Miller, president and CEO of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, tells Cleveland 19 these media headlines have inspired victims to call the center. “In fact, there’s been about a 15 percent increase in calls over the last...continue

Why it could take decades to report sexual assaults (

September 25, 2018

“In the weeks since Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, two women have come forward accusing the judge of sexual assault. In response, some people ask: Why come forward now? Why are the details of the incidents so vague? Why weren’t the incidents reported to the police at the time? “The alleged incidents occurred...continue

Sexual Assault on College Campuses; Understanding Consent (Sound of Ideas)

August 21, 2018

“College students are back on campus, some for the first time. An important part of getting ready, beyond move-in day and a trip to the bookstore, is a frank conversation about sexual assault and the importance of consent in any relationship and throughout any sexual encounter. How should you talk about it with your student,...continue

Teaching parents how to spot signs of sexual abuse in kids (Cleveland 19 News)

August 10, 2018

“As students head back to school, there is some important information parents need to know to make sure their children stay safe.” “…Experts with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center said parents need to trust their gut. “‘If something feels wrong, it probably is wrong,’ Alexander Leslie, Senior Director of Educational Services for the Cleveland Rape...continue

Letter to the Editor: What can men learn from #MeToo? (

August 6, 2018

“A recent letter to the editor in The Plain Dealer asked the question: How can we help young boys and decent men who want to learn from the MeToo movement? “Most men don’t commit acts of violence; yet many of us tolerate behaviors that are harmful against women, children and other men. “Where to start? Here are...continue

Murder, Domestic Violence Linked (Ashtabula Star Beacon)

July 30, 2018

“Unfortunately, when we look at most of the recent homicides in Ashtabula County they all have a common thread — domestic violence. “We don’t know yet who killed Rand Hilal al Dulaimi, but we know her estranged husband is a person of interest and we know she spent time at Homesafe, where those who knew her said she...continue

Solon Hosts Human Trafficking Seminar and Town Forum (

July 5, 2018

“While online technology has led to exponential increases in human trafficking, it is by no means a new crime. “‘It is a very old crime — it’s just been given a new name,’ Sr. Anne Victory stated at a June 26 forum put on by the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking. ‘It used to go by a...continue

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Specialist to Speak in Geneva (Ashtabula Star Beacon)

June 26, 2018

“GENEVA — More than 50 people in the county used services provided by the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center last year. “In September, the center opened an Ashtabula office at 5021 State Road, after operating for the last three years out of Homesafe for just a few hours each week, Jennifer Schlosser, director of community engagement at the Cleveland...continue

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Credits #MeToo for Increase in Reports (Fox 8)

June 13, 2018

“CLEVELAND – Northeast Ohio native Erika Port had her own #MeToo moment years before household names like Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose and organizations like USA Gymnastics were brought down by allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual abuse. “‘When I spoke out more people felt empowered to say you know this happened to me too...continue

Evading Justice: How Some Accused Rapists Avoid the Sex Offender Registry (News 5)

May 23, 2018

“A months-long investigation into outcomes of rape cases in Cuyahoga County revealed dozens of accused rapists evaded Ohio’s sex offender registry. “Our investigative team reviewed every case involving rape charges filed in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas from 2014 to 2016. We found close to one in five defendants charged with rape accepted...continue

Sing Out! Chorale Performs on Fox 8

May 22, 2018

The Sing Out! Chorale was in studio on Fox 8 News in the Morning to raise awareness for Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s Sing Out! , a one-night-only performance coming up on May 24 at Severance Hall.  The entire Chorale, made up of over 100 community leaders, will raise their voices to inspire change and raise funds for the...continue

Kristen Baird Adams & Kim Bixenstine on WKYC's We The People

May 14, 2018

“Sing Out is a concert fundraising event hosted by Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. It’s coming up on May 24. Host committee co-chair Kristen Baird Adams and Board Chair Kim Bixenstine talk about this unique event.” This video was originally published by WKYC.  ...continue

Watch: Sondra Miller - "I Am Evidence" (WKYC)

March 16, 2018

President & CEO Sondra Miller joins WKYC’s We The People to speak about untested rape kits in Cuyahoga County and the upcoming film I Am Evidence.     This video was originally published by WKYC at

Human Trafficking is an Often-Invisible Community Problem (Star Beacon)

March 5, 2018

“JEFFERSON — ‘It happens here, and it happens in plain sight,’ Teresa Stafford, senior director of victim services and outreach at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, said Thursday during the ‘Human Trafficking: Under the Radar in Our Community‘ training at Jefferson Area High School. “The seminar for counselors, social workers, law enforcement personnel and medical professionals...continue

Cleveland Sex Crimes Unit Faces Scrutiny (

March 3, 2018

“CLEVELAND, Ohio – In 2002, Cleveland officials announced a plan to turn around the police department’s troubled sex crimes unit. “The promises came weeks after The Plain Dealer reported on an internal investigation that showed years of mounting problems in the unit: uninvestigated cases, staggering workloads and supervisory lapses. “Department and city leaders pledged to staff the...continue

No Consequences if Rape Kits Not Submitted Within 30 Days (News 5)

February 27, 2018

“CLEVELAND – News 5 first broke the story over six years ago – learning nearly 14,000 rape kits had been sitting on shelves untested, some dating back to the 1970’s. “Just last week, the Ohio Attorney General announced the backlog of rape kits had been cleared. News 5 has since learned that’s not entirely true – the Cleveland...continue

Completed Testing of 13,931 Rape Kits Signals Progress (

February 23, 2018

  “The testing of nearly 14,000 formerly shelved Ohio rape kits is complete. “The unprecedented undertaking already has changed the culture and will have a lasting impact on how police understand and investigate rape, Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “In 2011, when DeWine first asked departments to start sending untested kits, which dated back decades, it...continue

Cleveland Police Failed to Send Recent Rape Kits for Testing (

February 14, 2018

  “CLEVELAND, Ohio –  Cleveland police failed over three years to send hundreds of rape kits collected from sexual assault victims to a lab for testing, in violation of state law. “An Ohio law that took effect in 2015 requires rape kits to be sent to a lab within 30 days. “The department discovered in...continue

Ohio Ranks Fourth in the Country for Human Trafficking Cases (Cleveland 19 News)

January 18, 2018

“CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for human trafficking. “In a recent report from the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, more than 300 people in the state were victims of sex trafficking, about 25 were trafficked for hard labor, and another eight were trafficked for both purposes. “‘On the service, it sounds...continue

Sexual Assault: Where Do Ohio Survivors Turn for Help? (Public News Service)

December 18, 2017

“COLUMBUS, Ohio — Advocates for women say the wave of high profile sexual abuse allegations is helping survivors in Ohio find their voices. But who can they trust? “In a survey of Cuyahoga County residents, most respondents said if they needed assistance after a sexual assault, they would turn to a doctor, nurse, teacher or caseworker....continue