Sexual assault victims in Middle Tennessee will no longer have to travel to Nashville with the recent reopening of the Sexual Assault Center (SAC) in Clarksville.
Clarksville’s SAC reopened on Feb. 10, after a six-year hiatus.
In September 2010, the SAC was closed due to lack of funding caused by the 2008 recession.
During their time in Clarksville prior to the 2010 closure, SAC President Tim Tohill said they were maxing their budget at about 100 clients a year.
“Over the years, the state cut back on the funding and eliminated any specific funding for the Clarksville operation,” said Tohill.
In 2010, the year of the SAC closing, there were 11 reported rapes in the city of Clarksville and 55 in Montgomery County.
From September 2010 to February 2016, the closest SAC was in Nashville.
As a result, the number of victims seeking help from the Clarksville area drastically decreased.
After the closing, Tohill said he would like to come back to Clarksville and continue providing their services with the help of the community.
Thanks to donors in the community, the sexual assault center in Clarksville was reopened in February 2016.
The Clarksville Chamber of Commerce sponsored a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 10, from 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.
According to the SAC website, they are committed to providing healing for children, adults and families affected by sexual assault and to ending sexual violence through counseling, education and advocacy.
Currently the SAC is the only place in Middle Tennessee to provide counseling to both child and adult sexual assault victims exclusively even though, according to RAINN.org, sexual assault survivors are more likely to suffer from depression, PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse and thoughts of suicide.
According to the SAC’s website, 37.4 percent of rape victims were first raped between the ages of 18 and 24.
The Clarksville location now provides crisis intervention and therapy advocacy and hospital accompaniment services.
All of the services provided by the SAC are free.
For more information about the SAC visit their website at www.sacenter.org.