MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – This week is national Crime Victim’s Rights Awareness Week. It is also Sexual Assault Awareness month and according to the Department of Justice, one in five women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.
A counselor at the Horry County Rape Crisis Center says people don’t know what’s available to them because rape is often a crime that can leave victims feeling ashamed and unwilling to talk about the abuse.
Counselor Karly Buckley says the center is using the month of April to reach out to the community to address the emotional challenges that come with being a victim of rape, a crime that’s impacting millions of people.
“The more you put the pain and the trauma in your unconscious, it’s going to come back and something is going to trigger it someday,” says Buckley. “Whether it was in childhood or adolescence it’s going to come back and something is going to trigger it in adulthood.”
According to the Department of Justice:
- Four out of five rapes are committed by someone the victim knows
- 82% of rapes are committed by a non-stranger
- 47% of rapes are by a friend or an acquaintance
Buckley says while rape isn’t an easy topic to talk about, the emotional and mental affects can become worse the longer someone puts it off.
“You just feel like it’s going to come crashing down, and that is why a lot of people seek help twenty or thirty years later, when they’re like ‘I just can’t handle this anymore’,” says Buckley.
The crisis center offers individual counseling and group counseling, as well as legal advocacy. If you need help anytime during the day or night you can call 843-448-7273.