KING COUNTY, Wash. — A new resource tool for survivors of sexual assault launched this week in King County.
“Understandably, survivors are overwhelmed in the aftermath of sexual assault, so making it as easy as possible in connecting is really important to us as a collective group,” said Larraine Lynch, the chief program officer for King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.
The Seattle Sexual Assault Resource Connector Tool is a collaboration between Seattle Indian Health Board, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, the University of Washington departments of Psychiatry and Psychology and Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center.
Lynch said the connector tool allows a survivor, or someone who wants to support a survivor, to be connected to the specific resources they are looking for in that moment. Users answer a series of questions that will connect them to those resources, all in one place.
“Is it general advocacy support, legal advocacy supports, medical advocacy or maybe therapy support?” said Lynch of some of the resources they can connect people to through the tool.
Police data shows that rape crimes in Seattle increased this past year to 285 in 2022. There were 253 in 2021 and 270 in 2020. But Lynch said the numbers of rape crimes and sexual assaults are higher, but not all of them are reviewed in the criminal justice system.
“That was also another reason we wanted to create this resource for survivors, because regardless of what happens with the systems, we want to ensure survivors know that there are supports for them and available for them,” said Lynch.
In 2021, the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center helped 5,000 sexual people, the most people they have ever served in a year.
Lynch said this tool and making resources readily available is imperative to help people recover and heal. She hopes this new tool can show survivors in our community that there is hope and support available.
“We want survivors to know they're not alone, to know that there are there are people, there are resources out there to support them through every step of the way,” said Lynch.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. Additional resources are available on the Washington State Department of Health's website.