In the News

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 will aim to address both the trauma of sexual assault and the community pressure survivors often feel to not help to send a Black man to prison.

“A lot of times, they don’t trust the system even as a victim,” said Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Chief Advocacy Officer Teresa Stafford. “We want to make sure they have that additional support and can get the justice that they are seeking.”

For every sexual assault reported, about 15 more are never brought to the police because of the circumstances Black women face, Stafford said.

“They have additional pressure sometimes when they’re engaging with the criminal justice system, especially if their perpetrator is from the same race or ethnic group as they are from,” said Stafford.