Local News

Web Site Offers Support To Rape Survivors

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HENDERSON, N.C. — Many rape victims live in areas, where there are no crisis centers or other places of support. The Internet has helped fill that gap, especially one

Web site

started by a rape survivor in Vance County.

When Gayle Crabtree was assaulted seven years ago, the nearest rape crisis center was two hours away from her Vance County home.

"I had a lot of questions, a lot of anger, frustrations and I just didn't have anybody to go to," Crabtree said.

Eventually, Crabtree found hope and healing and decided to offer it to others online with a Web site.

"The farthest thing from my mind was that it was going to be the largest resource run by a survivor on the Internet," she said. "There's a lot of people out there who need support and can't find it, and that's why the Web sites are so important."

On an average day in North Carolina, 100 women are victims of rape or attempted rape. Nationally, 16 women per hour confront a rapist, which is about every four minutes. The FBI estimates only 20 percent or one in five rapes is ever reported.

Crabtree said the Web site is a starting point, not an end.

"The Internet is great. It does a lot of good for a lot of people, but you need face-to-face support. You need somebody to reach over and hold you hand and say, 'Yeah, it's going to be OK.'"

On April 1, Crabtree was recognized as a Point of Light, an honor begun by former President George W. Bush to honor exceptional volunteers.