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 had this many people reaching out to us for help. The funding is coming at the perfect time for us to be able to meet the demand,’ said Sondra Miller, president and CEO.
“The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s $4.6-million total grant was part of $111.8 million in grants awarded in the state for crime victim service providers, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Crime Victim Services Division, which administers the federal Victims of Crime Act program.
“‘Thanks to the hard work of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, more survivors of sexual violence in Northeast Ohio will be able to access the services they need to move forward with their lives,’ Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a prepared statement.
“When Miller started at the center in 2009, the crisis hotline was getting seven to eight contacts (text, phone calls or online chats) per day. By 2017, that number had grown to 17 calls a day. Through August this year, the center is averaging 19 calls per day. That call volume spiked in late September during the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Miller said. The day after the hearings, the center received 60.
“Higher numbers of calls, however, don’t mean that there are more sexual assaults and rapes occurring in Cleveland, Miller said. Rather more survivors are now willing to talk about their experiences.
“‘It’s not about how often sexual assault is happening. The numbers are an indication that more people feel comfortable coming forward,’ Miller said. ‘Overwhelmingly, survivors harmed years or decades ago are now choosing to come forward.'”