Established in 1978, Sexual Assault Center (SAC) has provided this care for more than 35,000 children and adults in our community. SAC is a state and federally funded non-profit organization serving victims/survivors of sexual assault and educating communities across the state; we are a nonpartisan organization, as our work provides hope and healing to all.

The effects of rape are numerous and varied and can last a lifetime, with serious adverse effects on a victim/survivor’s physical and mental/emotional health, education, employment, and the economic well-being of individuals, families and communities. Please take the following into consideration when thinking about exceptions for abortion:

  • Rape Kits must be performed within 120 hours of the assault to even have a chance of collecting DNA evidence. Some victims may not be physically or mentally able to meet this short window, and many other victims may not even be aware of this timeframe.
  • Rape victims often want to focus on getting through the immediate aftermath of the trauma before they can consider bigger picture things such as legal action against their perpetrator. Five days to eight weeks is not enough time for that life decision to be made, especially after trauma. The human brain simply does not have the ability to process and integrate trauma and make life-changing decisions in that amount of time. It typically takes several months, often years, to work through the trauma of rape.
  • The prosecution rate for rape is incredibly low which is why many women choose not to go through the stress, revictimization, and additional trauma of legal action. Rape is the most under prosecuted violent crime with about 25 in 1,000 rapists seeing jail time.
  • Most women, around 69%, choose not to involve law enforcement after an assault for a number of reasons. Reasons for not reporting include: fear, intimidation, gender, age, legal status, perceived outcomes, victim blaming, stress of the process, social expectations, relationship with the perpetrator, and the perpetrator’s social status. Especially if the perpetrator is law enforcement or in a position of power.
  • Over 90% of children who are sexually assaulted, are assaulted by someone they know, typically someone within their family. Children often do not immediately report sexual assault, with only 21% reporting within the month of abuse, missing the window for a rape kit. They also do not have the autonomy to report on their own without an adult.
  • Rape kits are not available at every hospital. Most people are not aware that in Davidson and the six surrounding counties, there are only six locations to receive a rape kit. Depending on where a victim lives, they may not have immediate access, further discouraging them from making quick decisions about medical care following the rape.
  • When a victim is in a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, the perpetrator controls where the victim goes and what they do, often making it impossible for them to meet timeframes for evidence collection.
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