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Crisis center sees record number of rape victims

Posted at 3:58 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 23:26:24-04

The Rape Crisis Center has seen one of its busiest months of all time.

Just about a year after a grant was approved to focus on testing sexual assault kits, officials at the crisis center say their busy month is not because of those test results but rather new victims.

Last year, the state of Nevada received a grant, allowing thousands of rape kits to be tested. Some of those evidence kits were 30 years old. Those test results were sent to the Rape Crisis Center.

An increase in new victims does not necessarily mean an increase in crime.  

Officials at the Rape Crisis Center say they responded to over 30 percent more victims this past June than they did in June 2015. They are crediting a number of reasons for the increase, including educational outreach, a new interactive website and even victim comfort.  

The recent incident with Brock Turner and the outrage surrounding that Stanford rape case has officials at the Rape Crisis Center thinking more victims may have been encouraged to step forward and get help.  

"We hope that that is more of the reasoning for seeing more reports, that people have a greater sense of comfort in coming forward and seeking help and the support they need," says Daniele Dreitzer, the executive director with the Rape Crisis Center.

Even though the increase in numbers may not be related to the rape kit test results coming in, the crisis center is prepared to help those who will need it when that time comes.  

"That is something that we're prepared for, and have anticipated and expect to see over the coming years, as more and more of those tests come back," Dreitzer says. 

According to the Attorney General's Office, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has already sent out 1,600 kits to get tested. Of those, just under 300 have been sent back.  

With the increase numbers, the Rape Crisis Center is in desperate need of volunteers.