A few weeks ago, the SAFE Clinic opened at the Sexual Assault Center in Nashville. The center provides counseling to women, men, and children after rape.
The SAFE Clinic gives those who've suffered the trauma of rape a comforting place to go for a rape exam, that's not in a hospital setting. In partnership with Metro General and the DA's office along with other agencies, the idea was that more victims might come forward for a rape kit, in case they decide to prosecute later.
According to numbers shared Wednesday, it's working. The Sexual Assault Center reports it has provided 24 exams in less than two months.
Nashville General, which used to be the only place you could get a rape exam, has provided 13 at their new site. Vanderbilt, who just opened its hospital to the public for rape exams has provided 17 exams since June.
If this pace keeps up, this will be the highest number of rape exams conducted in Nashville history.
Which makes the timing for a special community gift, even more of a good thing.
'Healing Garden' a product of generosity and love
The Sexual Assault Center shared its new Healing Garden on Thursday, it was funded by a $4,000 grant from the Nashville Predators Foundation, with some extra love from Nate Barker with Horticultual Solutions and landscape designer Andrew Nixon.
When Barker learned what the center does, he personally solicited donations from nurseries all around Nashville.
Then, volunteers from HCA and the United Way of Williamson County came out to help. They had the old patio furniture power-washed and re-stained.
"This new garden has numerous wonderful features..." said Dott Freeman with the Sexual Assault Center, "Went to other nurseries, other landscape firms, brought in almost 20,000 worth of plantings, trees, gravel, with moonballs for children to look into and a kinetic sculpture, so that this is really a healing garden."
The garden will be used by clients and advocates of the Sexual Assault Center, especially therapists and staff who need a break from the intense work they do.
A fundraiser for the center, Mad Hatter 2018, will be held on December 1 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel with keynote speaker Ashley Judd. News4 is a media sponsor of the event. Tickets are now available, you can purchase them here.
If you or someone you love needs help from the Sexual Assault Center, call 1-800-879-1999 or visit www.sacenter.org. Someone is standing by to take your call 24 hours a day.