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The Rape Crisis Center adds online chat and text capability

CELL PHONE GENERIC
Posted at 12:33 PM, Feb 24, 2021

The Rape Crisis Center (RCC), which provides 24/7 hotline support, counseling, prevention and education services to all of Clark County, now offers two additional ways to contact the organization for hope, help and healing.

In addition to the 24/7 hotline phone service at 702-366-1640, the organization recently launched SMS text support at 725-900-2640 and online chat capabilities available through the website, both of which are currently available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week.

All three of these contact channels are staffed by trained advocates.

These new capabilities were added as demand for counseling and support groups continued to trend upward throughout the 2020 pandemic year. Counseling hours delivered by the RCC were up over 1,300 hours or 47 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, with over 4,300 hours of counseling overall provided.

In other data, the RCC, like many other centers around the nation, saw a dramatic drop in the number of victims seen at the hospital – 486 in 2020 as compared to 701 victims in 2019, a 31 percent decline.

These are victims who elect to go to UMC for the forensic sexual assault exam and are supported by an RCC-trained advocate. According to Staple, the decline in in-hospital visits and exams, created by fear of contracting COVID-19, was seen with rape crisis centers nationwide.

The RCC advocates were also forced to provide support by phone rather than being there in person due to COVID issues, which also contributed to decreased numbers.

In terms of educational programming in 2020, despite quick work to get materials into the Clark County School District online platform, RCC education programs were drastically affected as well, with fewer than 3,000 students reached in 2020 compared to over 16,000 during the previous year.

The “silver lining” called out by Staple from the yearly data was the number of individuals offering their time and talent to the organization. With the addition of online training opportunities, more volunteers than ever went through the rigorous RCC training program. The number of active volunteers and the number of hours of support they have offered skyrocketed during the pandemic.

These efforts produced more than 5,000 volunteer hours in service of the organization, a ten-year record.

As an essential service provider, the RCC has continuously operated since the onset of COVID-19, adding telehealth services and pandemic health and safety protocols to maintain consistent services throughout the year.