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Las Vegas Rape Crisis Center sees 8 percent caseload increase

Updated August 8, 2017 - 5:22 pm

The Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas reported Tuesday that it assisted 8 percent more sexual assault survivors in the first half of 2017 than in the same period last year.

Between Jan. 1 and June 30, the organization said it assisted 380 victims. The nonprofit center, which serves all of Clark County, also said the number of active counseling clients was up 48 percent this year over last year.

Executive director Daniele Dreitzer said the numbers may reflect a growing awareness of the issue.

“We hope that’s the case, that it’s more people reporting and not more rapes happening,” she said.

Through programs for children and teenagers, the Rape Crisis Center, at 801 S. Rancho Drive, works to combat stigma and shame and let victims know that they’re not alone, Dreitzer said.

It also runs the Child Assault Prevention program for students in grades one through three to teach them how to get help if they’re targeted by a predator. Dreitzer said predators target victims who do not know how to talk about abuse, so teaching young children about anatomy and personal space can be a huge deterrent.

“The earlier that parents bring those conversations to children, the safer they are,” she said.

The organization also has a program for teens. The Safety Prevention Awareness Curriculum for Everyone, or YourSPACE, which teaches teens about boundaries, how to be safe in relationships and social responsibility.

Although the agency has seen classes for volunteers grow over the years, Dreitzer said they always need more. The agency operates 24 hours a day, every day, with volunteers assisting with answering the hotline and meeting victims at the hospital for forensic exams.

“In this fight, there a role for everybody to play,” she said. Whether it’s encouraging a friend to get help or reporting crimes to law enforcement, every bit helps.

“If we continue to do that, we can see the tide turn,” she said.

For more information about the Rape Crisis Center, visit www.rcclv.org or call 702-385-2153.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Follow @WesJuhl on Twitter.

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