The Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center Reminds Community of Resources and Help During April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Miami, FL – April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), with this year’s theme centered on “Building Safe Online Spaces Together.” Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center (RTC) aims to raise awareness about sexual violence, including virtual assault and harassment.

RTC, located at Jackson Memorial Hospital, is nationally renowned for providing comprehensive services to victims of sexual assault. Since its establishment in 1974, the center has provided emotional and medical services to almost 75,000 people in our community. Last year alone, the center helped almost 600 individuals, most in the 20- to 29-year age group, with 90 percent of the victims being female.

RTC is the only center of its kind in Miami-Dade County, named after women’s rights activist and Florida Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Roxcy O’Neal Bolton.

“The work to help sexual assault survivors is an important one,” said Program Manager, Franchine Peters. “We want sexual assault survivors to know what happened to them is not their fault. RTC is here to help survivors with medical treatment, advocacy, and therapy services including virtual access.”

Reflecting on this year’s SAAM’s theme, Peter’s notes that with the ease of virtual communication has come an increase in negative online experiences, such as cyberbullying and sexual exploitation.

“This year’s theme aims to encourage our community to intervene when we see harmful online content and behaviors, while also promoting digital consent in an effort to support online groups that foster respect, safety, and inclusion,” she said.

Millions of individuals are the victims of sexual violence each year in the United States – an act that is defined as any sexual activity where consent is not freely given, with profound impact on an individual’s lifelong well-being.

According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds in the United States. Every nine minutes, that victim is a child. Fifty five percent of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home. In eight out of 10 cases, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them. Yet according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it continues to be the most under-reported violent crime in the country.

RTC provides support – in a completely confidential setting – 24 hours a day, seven days a week to victims ages 12 and older. All services are provided at no cost for all victims and their immediate family members, regardless of whether the crime is reported to the police. The assault does not have to be recent – it could’ve happened 20 years ago, and you can still receive help. Forensic and medical services are being done in person. Therapy and support group services are being done virtually.

The center also offers the following additional services:

  • Confidential 24-hour helpline
  • Forensic evidence collection and preventive treatments
  • Crisis intervention
  • Advocacy
  • Information and referrals
  • Community awareness
  • Support groups
  • Therapy
  • Prevention/risk reduction education

If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, or if you have questions or need help, call RTC’s confidential helpline at 305-585-7273 or visit https://jacksonhealth.org/rape-treatment.

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