(WBRE/ WYOU)- The Me Too Movement has brought many sexual assault victims out of the shadows.
But experts believe there are many victims who still don’t come forward for a variety of reasons.
“It’s a crime that so often happens in silence,” Ali Mailen Perrotto, president of SARCC said.
statistics say every 98 seconds, an american is sexually assaulted. But here in Schuylkill County, there is a center that is here to help.
It is called SARCC, which stands for Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center.
National statistics say 1 in every 5 children will experience sexual abuse before turning 18. Still the president of SACC says the Schuylkill County Office saw more than 500 of the 11 hundred victims they helped.
“Suvivors need support. They need to break down that isolation. They need to break down the walls and often times we may be the first line of support that a person may have,” Alicia Rathosky, a councelor at SARCC said.
Rathosky has worked for SArcc for the last 8 years and says her job is all about listening.
“For a lot of survivors, in some point in their lives, they get invalidated to that experience so our role is to again validate and say ‘what happened is real and i’m sorry this has happened,” Rathosky said.
SARCC says many times predators are people you would least expect.
“It is people who are known, trusted, cared about in the community. And often well respected,” Mailen Perotto said.
The center provides direct services with a 24 hour hotline, and prevention education. The president says the average child’s age is only 9 years old but SARCC aims to reach out to people of all ages to prevent more cases from happening.
“We are actually trying to target behaviors and the skills that are needed in the community in order to prevent it from happening in the first place,” Mailen Perotto said.
Mailen Perrotto says it is never too late for a victim to come forward. They also provide outreach services where they will go to you if you cannot get to them.
There is also an office in Lebanon. The center is holding a fundraiser tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the lodge at Sharpe Mountain.