Advocates, doctors see increase in sexual assault reports in eme - FOX Carolina 21

Advocates, doctors see increase in sexual assault reports in emergency rooms

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

From Hollywood to Capitol Hill and throughout South Carolina, victims are coming forward to tell their stories of sexual assault. 


"We have seen a dramatic increase in our crisis hotline calls," Shauna Galloway-Williams said.

She's the executive director at the Julie Valentine Center in Greenville County.

"What we've seen is that people are feeling empowered and more comfortable to seek help," Galloway-Williams said.

Advocates at the center provide counseling and resources for victims of sexual assault and child abuse. Recently, they've seen an increase in calls. They say they had seven within one week.

"Four of them were children and under the age of 18," she said. "Of the three that came in that were assaulted- adult women, all of those were drug and alcohol facilitated rapes."

Doctors are seeing more inside their emergency rooms too.

"These patients are truly having the worst day of their lives," Dr. Jessica Hobbs said.

She's the medical director with the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Program with the Greenville Health System. 

"Specifically in Greenville County, our county has a 40 percent increase in sexual assault compared to other counties in the state," Hobbs said.

Those victims get medical treatment and are also seen by what's called SANE nurses. SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

"They are specifically trained so that they have the skills and understanding to take care of those patients when they do come here," Hobbs said.

So, doctors and advocates continue to treat and counsel victims inside emergency rooms and out of them.

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