saults committed daily in the United States.
Elizabeth Bell, the executive director of the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia,
spoke to the crowd about how she and others in the area are trying their best to decrease the number of sexual assaults occurring in Floyd County.
According to Bell, 113 sexual assaults were reported to the center in 2008 from the counties of Chattooga, Gordon, Polk and Floyd — the group’s service area. Alone, Floyd County had 76 cases report to the center, which provides a number of services including a medical examination room and a resource library for those dealing with the aftermaths of rape and assaults.
“Sexual assault is one of the most unreported crimes,” she said. “Typically, 60 percent of all assaults go unreported in the United States every year.”
Though victims of sexual assault might not report the crimes for weeks or years, Bell said the assault center has resources to help those in the area who are victims. It has a 24-hour help line staffed by volunteers, advocates to go along with victims for exams at the hospital and contacts for counseling.
“If we weren’t in Floyd County, victims would be examined at the hospital without an advocate. There would be no free preventative medicines for victims, and there would be no 24-hour crisis line,” Bell said. “We might not like to admit it, but this is happening in our community, and we’re glad to be able to help.”
Bell added those interested in helping the Sexual Assault Center as a volunteer must take 40 hours in classes, go through a background check and fill out paperwork before they can be considered, but those interested should call the office at 706-292-9024. The 24-hour crisis number is 866-655-8625.