The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center helps victims of rape get the services they need.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
Inside a local coffee shop, Cup of Joe's on Lorain Avenue and 55th, Elsa Ramos is enjoying an evening with her daughters. She's always concerned about their safety. But even more so now after hearing there have been 66 rapes in Cleveland so far this year.
"Scary enough to where I don't let my kids walk or I don't walk anywhere. Not even to the corner store," Ramos said.
What's even more alarming is that 21 of the 66 rapes have been reported in the city's Second District where this store is located.
"I really don't walk anywhere. But she makes me call her all the time. When I leave. When I get there," said Jazmine Dickens, Ramos's daughter.
Cleveland police say it's too early to assess crime trends since we're only two months into the new year.
But Kirsti Mouncey at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center says sexual violence is a huge epidemic.
"It's a huge problem in our society. So we know the numbers are staggering. We know one out of five women and one out of 71 men will be a victim of rape during their lifetime," Mouncey said.
It is something Ramos, as a mother, finds deeply troubling.
"It's way worse. I don't know if it's because I'm an adult and I pay attention and I have teenaged daughters now. But I feel its gotten a lot worse," she said.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center says each year it sees a thousand victims for therapy sessions alone. About 85 percent of rape victims never report their assaults.