Relief Fund Helps Sexual Assault Victims in Disaster Areas

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 General News J E 4

ENOLA, Pa., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent tornadoes and floods have impacted thousands across the United States. Tragically, the loss of housing, employment and resources that accompany natural disasters creates environments where criminal activity increases. Sexual assault centers in disaster areas see an increase in the number of sexual assaults, and a need to respond to previous victims who find themselves traumatized because of the instability around them. To assist efforts in disaster-stricken areas, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) collaborated with several sexual violence-prevention organizations to establish The Relief Fund for Sexual Assault Victims. The fund's theme is "When disaster strikes: Lend a hand, heal a heart."

The national fund, created as a result of Hurricane Katrina, focuses on disaster areas and is designed to:

  • Support the needs of sexual assault survivors and staff at sexual assault centers across the U.S.
  • Assist with direct service needs
  • Increase prevention initiatives to protect evacuees from sexual violence
  • Supplement relocation efforts for damaged sexual assault centers

"Learning from previous disasters, we know people are more vulnerable to sexual victimization. In wake of recent events, we can't stress enough how valuable it is to have a coordinated effort to provide assistance to impacted areas. The Relief Fund for Sexual Assault Victims provides a direct way to support survivors of sexual violence and responding programs amid disasters," says NSVRC Director Karen Baker.

Administrative costs for the fund are being donated by the NSVRC, resulting in 100 percent of the donations benefiting victims. For more information or to donate, visit

NSVRC identifies, develops and disseminates resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence prevention and intervention. Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in 2000, the NSVRC focuses on "Collaboration – Prevention – Resources."

SOURCE National Sexual Violence Resource Center

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