National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
releases 2012 Rape Crisis Center Survey
Sexual assault is widespread and devastating. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey/NISVS (CDC, 2011), nearly 1 in 5 women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape and over 1.3 million women were raped in the U.S. in one year. Over 80% of women who were victimized experienced significant impacts such as PTSD, injury (42%) and missed time at work or school (28%).
Advocates help the criminal justice system respond better and help victims heal. A 2006 study found that when victims receive advocate-assisted services, they receive more helpful information, referrals and services and fare better in both short- and long-term recovery.
The survey revealed that most rape crisis centers have waiting lists for core services:
- 65% of programs have a waiting list for counseling services.
- 30% have a waiting list for support groups
Advocates at rape crisis centers provide the nation’s frontline response to sexual assault at no cost to victims meeting victims at emergency rooms at all hours, answering 24 hour hotlines, providing crisis intervention, running support groups for both recent victims and survivors of childhood abuse, mentoring volunteers, and providing awareness and prevention programs to their communities. Many rape crisis centers serve broad geographic areas or dense population centers.
- 50% of programs have laid-off staff in the past year with over 100 advocates losing their jobs while over 120 positions were left vacant;
- 25% of programs have 1 FTE or fewer to provide direct services;
- 60% of advocates earn $20,000-$30,000 per year; and
- Almost half of centers offer no retirement related benefits.
During a time when our nation’s attention is engaged around sexual violence:
- 67% of rape crisis centers had to reduce the amount of hours they spend dedicated to prevention & awareness, and
- Almost 40% of programs have waiting lists for prevention programs.
Rape crisis centers ranked adolescent and teen survivors, the age group most at risk for sexual violence, as the most underserved population. Without awareness and prevention programs, young people are unlikely to know how and where to access support services.
These results are based on a 2012 internet survey conducted by NAESV with rape crisis centers across the nation with an approximately 25% response rate.