Nashville sexual assault clinic overwhelmed by rape kit exams

Local News

For the past seven months, Rachel Freeman with the Sexual Assault Center says the exam rooms at their new Safe Clinic have stayed busy.  

“It is overwhelming,” said Freeman, president of the SAC. “It is hard to keep up with.”  

The clinic opened in September 2018. Freeman says they expected to do 100 rape kits in its first year open. That number has already reached 120. 

“It’s a significant increase over what we expected,” she said.  

It’s an increase they’re not only seeing in rape kits but other services.  

About 80 people are on the waitlist for individual therapy. 

Freeman says they’ve had to hire more staff.  

“We were a staff of 24 three years ago,” she said. “As of July, we’ll have 51 people on our staff.”  

Per person, it costs about $2,200 for a rape exam and crisis support, according to Freeman. 

They’re holding fundraisers and trying to find ways to come up with more money.  

“We are committed to raising those dollars so we can make sure we’re providing everything that needs to be provided,” Freeman said.  

She says Me Too movement is likely part of why demand is so high. 

“We continue to hear so many different stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse,” she said.  

It’s the kind of trauma Freeman says can take years to recover from. 

“They deserve to have the best care possible,” she said.  

The 24-hour crisis support line for the Sexual Assault Center is 1(800) 879-1999. 

You can find the link to the GoFundMe page set up for the SAC here.  

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