Rape Crisis Center reports increase in calls - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Rape Crisis Center reports increase in calls

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The logo of the Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas is displayed on the entrance on Oct. 14, 2013. (FOX5) The logo of the Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas is displayed on the entrance on Oct. 14, 2013. (FOX5)

It's one of the most under-reported crimes to law enforcement, and can affect anyone regardless of age or gender.

According to a national organization, Rape Abuse and Incest National Network or RAINN, sexual assault happens once every two minutes in the U.S.

In southern Nevada, the Rape Crisis Center says last year they worked with about 600 victims at local hospitals including University Medical Center. Since January 2013, they have worked with 445 victims at local hospitals.

"Since the beginning of October, it seems like we have seen a little bit of a bump in terms of the number of victims that we're seeing in the hospital compared to the same time last year," said Daniele Dreitzer, executive director of the Rape Crisis Center.

One of their advocates are available to sexual assault victims immediately when they get to the hospital.

Dreitzer said the scars from a sexual assault can last for years. "Anxiety, fear of being alone, post-traumatic stress, all of those things are things that victims deal with."

However, she said often these crimes don't get reported to authorities.

"Sometimes they're worried about what might happen to that person. Sometimes it's because they don't want to put themselves through that situation," Dreitzer said.

Year to date, Metro said the number of sexual assaults are about the same as last year with more than 914 reports of sexual assaults in 2013 and 918 from January to October last year. 

Approximately two-thirds of all victims are raped by someone they know.

The Rape Crisis Center says they counsel about 1,200 sexual assault victims every year, and 96 percent of the victims they see are female and four percent male.

"Especially when someone has been victimized in that way, what we try to do is empower them with their own choice and trying to take back control of the situation," Dreitzer said.

Dreitzer said often victims won't report the crime to authorities, and that stigma can be a reason sexual assaults aren't reported to police.

The main message Dreitzer said she wants to stress is that the accountability is never on a victim.

"It's not their fault, regardless of what they did, who they went with, where they went, any of that. It's the perpetrator's decision to do that," Dreitzer said. "It's never the victim's decision."

The Rape Crisis Center fields calls 24/7 at (702) 366-1640.

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