Rape does not discriminate against income levels, gender, or race. Only 52% report to police and fewer seek medical care and follow up. Hospitals across the nation have inconsistent protocols to treat sexual assault victims. Check-in and waiting rooms are not confidential. If a perpetrator is injured during the assault, they will often seek medical care, generally in the same emergency room as their victim. A rape victim may wait hours as their injuries are not considered life threatening and they tend not to seek follow-up care or prosecution.
To address these problems, CVC is creating a sexual assault response center (SARC) adjacent to its counseling offices at 125 W. 18th Street in downtown Erie to meet the confidential, forensic and medical needs of sexual assault victims, with care and compassion they deserve. This is why we are asking our community to help sponsor some renovations.
All services will be provided free in a secure and private medical office setting, available 24/7 staffed by victim advocates and specially trained and certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners who provide forensic rape examinations and evidence collection regardless of gender. This allows for timely, comfortable, and confidential, victim-centered care. This model, established across the country, serves victims best.
The benefits of a SARC will be a consistent protocol—victim is escorted to SARC for exam and evidence collection, an officer can begin investigation and documentation; prompt, professional forensic evidence documentation and collection strengthens victim’s case; and CVC counseling and court advocacy services facilitate prosecutor’s ability to stay in touch with victims. In addition, the added benefit to hospitals by moving victims to an appropriate environment; while ER staff can focus on life-threatening cases. In areas that have a SARC more sexual assaults are reported and predators successfully prosecuted. It also helps victims recover stability and receive help.
Sexual Assault in the United States
- One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)
- In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
Cost & Impact of Sexual Assault
- The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461 (n)
- Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion), and drunk driving, including fatalities ($61 billion) (j)
Child Sexual Abuse
- One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old (d)
Campus Sexual Assault
- 20% – 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college (b)
- Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (m)