HEADS UP! Far too many people are victims of sexual violence.

In 2011 there were 243,800 reports of rape and sexual violence, as recorded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Victimization Survey. Think of it this way … That’s one person ~ one child, one woman or one man being sexually violated every TWO minutes. What can be more disturbing is that there were ONLY 243,800 people who reported being raped or sexually assaulted, the number doesn’t include victims who never reported their assault. This is alarming. It means the number is higher, making the chances greater that more than one child, one woman or one man will be sexually assaulted every TWO minutes. It begs one to wonder: how can this be prevented ~ how can we reduce the number?

Dear Reader: Sexual violence is a matter of great concern that requires the attention of individuals, organizations and society as a whole. It is an issue that in some way will touch the life of each and every one of us ~ touched through personal experience or through the experience of a loved one. No one wants to be raped, and yet everyone is a potential victim … even you. It is an alarming realization to know that no one is safe from sexual assault. The issue has created a need for educational programs that inform the public about sexual violence, information centers who provide resources and materials for those interested in learning more about the crime, and supportive service agencies who offer immediate assistance for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Groups of compassionate people from across America have come together to create agencies and organizations ready and willing to listen to any concerns and fears victims, as well as cosurvivors, may face after an attack, and who are persistent in educating their communities about the effects of rape. Special groups and concerned individuals have come together and created resource hubs meant to inform and educate society of what sexual violence is and how it can be prevented. Unfortunately, there is a slight problem: Those who need the education, information or support services may not be aware of all the resources available.

The agencies ~ who have dedicated themselves to working with victims of sexual violence and who have a mission to educate and inform the public of the crime ~ oftentimes find it challenging to spread the news of their existence to those who need it most. A unique resource tool is in the making. In an effort to spread awareness of the resources that are accessible to those affected by sexual violence, a collection of agencies and organizations has been assembled in one location: A printed directory that lists the agencies and organizations who offer direct services, information and resources for those affected by sexual violence. The Directory of Services, Information and Resources for those Affected by Sexual Violence is a comprehensive resource that lists the organizations within the United States who offer something in the realm of assisting with sexual assault. There are organizations listed who not only offer direct support services such as that of advocacy and hotline services, but also agencies who specialize in distributing information, offering referrals and resources and even message boards, forums and on-line support groups geared at supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence. With more than 500 pages and over 1200 listings, the Directory will be a valuable guide for anyone who may have been victimized, but never knew where to go for help. The Directory will be a useful tool for the curious observer who wants to learn more information on the topic after discovering a loved one had been a victim of rape. The Directory will be an asset for parents who want to learn preventive techniques in an effort to protect their children from harm. In essence, the Directory will be a must have for anyone with a desire to assist those in need and those in crisis, and who would like to join forces with advocates against sexual violence. Those who will initially benefit from the Directory are the very ones listed within the pages so it is intended that a complimentary copy can be presented to each agency listed, allowing first access to this resource tool.

The Inspiration behind the Directory . . . Hughey once worked as a volunteer coordinator for a rape crisis center in Ohio. During her position, Hughey learned a great deal about working with victims of rape and sexual assault and used her knowledge to train volunteers for the hotline, and as medical and legal advocates. She understood that in order to better serve victims, a relationship with other centers was required so sharing and learning could take place. She knew how important it was to establish partnerships with others centers, but found it difficult to locate a resource that specifically listed rape crisis centers.

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