It’s 3:00 am on a Sunday morning when the call comes in.
Half an hour later the advocate enters the hospital room, met by a tired, overwhelmed woman who just experienced one of the deepest betrayals of her life. Just 9 hours earlier she was full of anxious butterflies as she carefully picked out the dress that would later be taken as evidence by the police. As she recounts the traumatic events from the evening, the advocate offers her a warm blanket and an open ear. They will remain by her side during the next 5 hours as the nurse collects the rape kit.
“[The Advocate] let me know I was in control of my situation. They gave me a voice because I felt lost.”
“I just appreciate the kindness, understanding and support I received. I really felt like I was not alone.”
“[The Advocate] was fantastic in a position that is almost impossible to be optimistic in.”
These are just a few of the words offered by survivors when asked about the Hospital Response Team advocates who stayed with them during the collection of their rape kit. Just 3 of 461 survivors served by these advocates since the beginning of 2017.
As so many brave survivors continue to come forward, sharing their stories and declaring “Me Too,” countless others find the courage to report their assault. Since 2014, the Rape Recovery Center has seen a 40% increase in the number of survivors reporting their experiences of sexual violence. Last month alone 68 survivors were accompanied by an RRC advocate during the collection of their rape kit in Salt Lake County - a 75% increase over October 2016.
As the number of survivors speaking out continues to grow, so does the need for comprehensive, trauma-informed healing services. We've seen record high demand this year and are determined to keep up with the inspiring number of brave individuals reaching out, which makes your support absolutely critical this Holiday Season.