August 15, 2006 – (Beaumont, TX) – RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, today announced that the Rape & Suicide Crisis of Southeast Texas, a founding crisis center for the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, is one of many centers along the gulf coast receiving funds to help rebuild in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), a long-time supporter of sexual assault services in the local community, will join the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault on August 15, 2006 in presenting the check from RAINN.
“ Since hurricanes swept through the Beaumont area last year, our center has struggled to survive, providing sexual assault services out of temporary facilities and relying heavily on the incredible commitment of our staff and volunteers,” said Cheryl Williams, executive director of the Rape & Suicide Crisis of Southeast Texas.“ We are extremely grateful to RAINN for this gift, which places us one step closer to rebuilding our center and re-establishing a strong local presence.”
The Rape & Suicide Crisis of Southeast Texas serves an average of 5028 victims annually. Badly damaged during the hurricanes, the center was forced to close its doors in September of 2005. Thanks to the dedication of its staff, services were immediately transferred to temporary facilities and were never interrupted or decreased. Staff at the center, however, remains hopeful that they will secure permanent space by the end of 2006.
“The Rape & Suicide Crisis of Southeast Texas is a perfect example of the strength and resiliency that our local community has shown throughout the past year,” stated Representative Ted Poe (R-TX).“ And thanks to the national support we’ve received from RAINN, the center now has even more resources to rebuild and to continue providing these important services to the people who need them most.”
“We are extremely grateful to RAINN for this gift, which places us one step closer to rebuilding our center and re-establishing a strong local presence.
Congressman Poe recently received an award from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) for his continued work in the area of sexual assault services. Also a critical proponent of the Child Predator Act of 2005, Rep. Poe helped to enforce stricter public notification laws for child sexual predators.
“ Congressman Poe is a true partner in the fight against sexual violence”, stated Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN.“ Thanks to his commitment to sexual assault services during this year’s appropriations process, we have been able to increase vital programs and ensure that fundraising for local centers can continue.”
RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is a partnership among 1,102 local rape crisis centers across the country. Because several of these centers endured severe damages during the 2005 hurricane season, RAINN utilized its fundraising network to help them rebuild and continue providing critical local services. In addition to the Rape & Suicide Crisis Center of Southeast Texas, RAINN has also provided support to centers in Pensacola, FL; Fort Walton Beach,FL; Mobile, AL; Biloxi, MS; and the Louisiana Rape Relief Fund, LA.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization and was named one of “ America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with 1,102 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotline has helped more than one million people since its start in 1994. RAINN will soon launch the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, the web’s first secure hotline offering live help. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.