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Your Views: Rape Response still is expanding services to help assault survivors

POSTED: October 19, 2013 1:00 a.m.

In December 1988, Rape Response opened its doors to offer help to survivors of sexual assault in Hall and Habersham counties. The service area now also includes Dawson, White and Lumpkin counties.

In 1993, Terri Strayhorn, former executive director, increased services through community partnerships to include medical aftercare and created a prevention education program approved by the Georgia State Board of Education. The mission and vision that founder Wendy Glasbrenner and the program’s first executive director, Elaine Gerke, had in 1988 is still strong today.

Statistics indicate that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men are survivors of sexual assault (www.rainn.org). Rape Response provides free and confidential services to these survivors that include a 24/7 crisis hotline, crisis intervention, medical and legal accompaniment and resource referrals.

Trained volunteers support a dedicated staff to make the work of Rape Response possible. Thirty-five exceptional volunteers take calls after hours to answer the crisis line and go to the hospital, ensuring the individual needs of survivors and their families are met. More recently, the agency has increased its prevention efforts on college campuses, as well as professional trainings with collaborative partners. Strong collaborations with judicial, medical and law enforcement professionals enhance the work of Rape Response.

Rape Response is fortunate to have an outstanding board that understands the necessity of its services. The ongoing contributions of previous directors, along with current and past staff and volunteers with a passion for the work, have brought Rape Response to this special 25th celebration. Thank you to all who make it possible for Rape Response to work with survivors of sexual assault.

On Monday, Rape Response will celebrate 25 years providing of services to survivors of sexual assault at an event honoring Glasbrenner. The celebration will be held in the First Baptist Church Banquet Hall; drop-in from 5-6:30 p.m. with a brief program starting at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public. For more information visit our website.

Jeanne Buffington
Executive director, Rape Response, Gainesville

 


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