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DeKalb Rape Crisis Center Marks 20 Years | News

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DeKalb Rape Crisis Center Marks 20 Years

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- The DeKalb Rape Crisis Center is marking 20 years of healing and helping victims of a devastating crime.

DRCC was founded in 1989 after the Junior League of DeKalb County raised the funds to hire a small staff and recruited a massive reserve of volunteers.

At the time, the only rape crisis center in the area was at Grady Memorial Hospital, which covered both DeKalb and Fulton counties.

"Grady often had more volume than they really needed to be handling," said former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson, now a founding partner of Wilson, Morton & Downs law firm. He served on DRCC's first Board of Directors. "Grady was stressed a lot of the time to meet the demand."

Today, DRCC meets a growing demand and provides a vital service to the community.

"I don't know that you can put a dollar amount on the comfort and peace that DRCC can provide," said former DeKalb County District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming, who joined the Center's Board five years ago. "DRCC helps us take care of the victim's needs so they don't get lost or just become a statistic."

But the statistics are telling.

Last year alone, prosecutors in DeKalb handled about 840 sexual assault cases.

DRCC also works hard to prevent crimes.

"I feel like we're trying so hard to make our community safer," said immediate past board chair Rebecca Wasserman.

Since it was founded, DRCC has provided a lifeline for victims of violence through a 24-hour/seven-day-a week hotline, which is now available in both English and Spanish.

Currently, DRCC employs two full-time staff, seven part-time staff and more than 60 Crisis Line volunteers.

DRCC will mark its 20-year history on Nov. 18 with a wine-tasting to raise critical funds for the center.

"A Night in Good Taste" will be held at Druid Hills Golf Club from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. to honor DRCC's founding organizations: the Junior League of DeKalb County, Inc. and DeKalb Medical.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Beth Jansa at 404-317-4642 or visit www.dekalbrapecrisiscenter.org.

Thanks to Mel Meadows for providing information for this article.