Rape Crisis Center in Danger of Closing
Cumberland County is in danger of losing its only rape crisis center. Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County Director Deanne Hardin, says they didn't get an expected $35,000 private grant. She says their board of directors informed her last week there wouldn't be money to pay the staff's three employees.
Deanne Hardin: "Amazingly enough, they all showed up to work on Monday, and jumped in and did what we normally do. And we are desperately working on getting some funding to be able to make payroll, until the state releases their funds, which we don't know when that will be. We are actively searching funding right now, but we just, we don't know. I cannot give the staff a date. So it's up to them personally, in their personal lives, how long they can stay with us."
They'll be working for free or not at all unless the center can secure more funding. Hardin wouldn't say where they had applied for the grant because they'll be re-applying for it on August 1st. The center provides a number of services, including counseling, support groups, and a 24-hour crisis line for victims.
Hardin: "And that's for victims who have any questions or if it's the first time they're ever talking about it. The assault could have happened 20 years ago as a child, or 6 months ago in a deployment overseas, or it could have happened as recently as the night before."
The center's staff and volunteers served 476 rape and sexual assault victims last fiscal year. Hardin estimates about 90 percent of the victims were from Cumberland County or Fort Bragg.