NORTHWEST ARKANSAS-- The Northwest Arkansas Rape and Crisis Center provides free services for survivors 24-7.
"From providing a forensic exam within 72 hours of an actual rape to gather the rape kit evidence, to ongoing support groups, individual advocacy and referrals, we provide free counseling services," Shelley said.
The center performs about 80 forensic exams each year and sees more than three thousand people. However, as awareness continues to rise executive director, Anne Shelley believes even more survivors will start walking through the center's doors.
Shelley said, "the more people see that people care, and that you are not alone, we think more folks will seek these services."
Located in Fayetteville, most clients at the center are from Washington County. But that doesn't mean there aren't just as many victims across county lines.
Shelley said, "when you are feeling that kind of trauma, one hour to have to wait could feel like a lifetime. The number one thing we want to be is convenient."
When services aren't nearby or readily available, Shelley said rapes often go unreported, so to reach every survivor and keep up with the need, the center is planning to expand.
"We'll be partnering in this coming year with the Northwest Arkansas Women's Shelter. They are housed in Benton County, and they see a real need for one of our forensic clinics to really give the immediate crisis care," Shelley said.
Shelley went on to say the new satellite clinic will be in Bentonville to extend services to Benton County. They are hoping to have everything open by February.
The 24-hour NWA Rape and Crisis Center hotline number is: 1(800) 794-4175.