This year was unprecedented as we increased the number of clients we served by 30% overall. Plus, as you might imagine given all the media attention surrounding numerous high profile sexual misconduct cases, we saw a dramatic increase in services we provided to victims of sexual violence represented 76% of our work compared to only 45% the previous year.
While we had many notable achievements this year, we are most proud to have expanded our existing services beyond Orange and Osceola counties to include accreditation as the Certified Rape Crisis Center (RCC) for Seminole County. Another notable highlight included having our Lead Advocate, Rhonda Wilson, named Victim Advocate of the Year by the Central Florida Victim Services Network. In addition, we enhanced our diversity with additional Spanish speaking therapists and advocates as well as our first male Victim Advocate / Crisis Counselor. And finally, two of our team members were trained and joined the Florida Crisis Response Team and are now qualified to respond to mass causalities as trauma providers.
With sexual violence being at the forefront of national conversation we saw many individuals come forward after years of allowing barriers to block their healing process. I am proud of our staff of professionals for embracing the enormous influx of additional new clients and working to ensure that no victim goes unserved in our community. To meet the surge of sexual violence clients this year, our team created and launched multiple new initiatives including three drop-in group therapy sessions per month for survivors called “Survivor Meet-Up.” Additionally, in an effort to reach even more clients and break down barriers to accessing care, we expanded our monthly social media activities to include sessions about trauma, VSC services, and therapy which attracted audiences in the thousands.
Thanks to our committed Board of Directors, grant funders, individual donors, volunteers, community partners and support network who work collaboratively with us every day to make this life changing work possible. It’s because of you we are able to expand, strengthen our partnerships, and transform more lives each year. We are honored to do this work every year, and it is only through your continued support that makes it all possible.
Executive Director, Victim Service Center of Central Florida