For Immediate Release
August 9, 2019
Contact: Lisa Robinson; 702.326.0334; firstname.lastname@example.org
With rising demand for services, Signs of Hope reports dramatic increase in support group participation and significant increases in counseling services and hotline calls through first six months of 2019
Volunteers needed to help staff hotline; SOH launches advocate partnership with
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to help meet demand
Las Vegas, NV — Signs of Hope (SOH), which serves all of Clark County, continues to realize increasing demand for its services in the first six months of 2019, with marked increases in key year-over-year measurements, including an 84% increase in support group participation, a 32% jump in the number of active counseling clients and a 15% increase in calls to the organization’s 24/7 hotline.
Participants in SOH’s therapist-led support groups for sexual assault survivors and their families averaged 136 per month in the first six months of 2019 as compared to 74 during the same period in 2018; the number of active counseling clients jumped from an average of 101 monthly in the first six months of 2018 to 135 monthly during the first six months of 2019; and the SOH fielded 2,367 calls to the 24/6 hotline in the first six months of 2019 compared to 2,057 in the first half of 2018.
In response to increasing demand for services that included a significant wait list for support groups and counseling throughout 2018, the SOH moved into larger office space in early 2019, hired more trained counselors and advocates and expanded the number of English and Spanish-language supports groups earlier this year, including adding a support group for Male identified survivors. With increased capacity, the number of people receiving SOH services jumped dramatically.
“Over the last couple of years as part of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, we are seeing more and more people seeking our services for assaults that happened months, years, and even decades ago,” said Daniele Staple, executive director of Signs of Hope. “The numbers speak volumes. Increased calls to our hotline, increased participation in our support groups and increases in requests for individual counseling sessions say it all. We are so glad that the expanded space is being fully utilized to serve hundreds on a monthly basis. ”
According to Staple, to better serve those who come forward with “delayed” reports of sexual assault, the SOH is partnering with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) to provide advocacy services to those who go to a police station to report past assaults. In these cases, Metro offers SOH advocacy services to the victims. SOH has two trained advocates, including at least one who is Spanish speaking, assigned to each Metro Area Command. These advocates are poised to respond swiftly to victims upon notice.
“We work very closely with Metro on a variety of programs and initiatives,” said Staple. “This new advocate program is a prime example of our community coming together in ways that support victims and provide a victim-centered approach.”
As demand continues to rise, Signs of Hope is seeking trained volunteers to help support the hotline, help staff events and increase outreach.
Those who are interested in becoming a volunteer should apply online at rcclv.org. Applications for the next training session are due August 16 and the training course begins August 20. The volunteer training is a total of 50 hours and includes learning about the services of the SOH, community resources for sexual assault victims, how to respond to individuals in crisis, how the investigation and criminal justice process works for sexual assault cases and how to represent the SOH at community events. New volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and be able to successfully pass a background check, drug screening and commit to a minimum of six months of volunteer service of at least four hours per week.
About Signs of Hope:
Signs of Hope (SOH) is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 by Florence McClure and Sandra Petta as the Community Action Against Rape (CAAR) with the goal of helping those in Clark County heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Today, Signs of Hope operates a 24/7 crisis hotline and hospital response for sexual assault victims and provides counseling, advocacy and support to help victims begin the healing process and navigate the legal system. SOH is also committed to raising awareness of sexual assault and engaging in prevention efforts through educational programs and community outreach, particularly to youth. Signs of Hope hotline number is 702-366-1640. For more information, visit www.rcclv.org.