NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For four decades, the sexual assault center has helped more than 25,000 people recover from sexual violence and assault. Now, they are opening a new, SAFE clinic -- the first of its kind in Nashville.
"It's still a taboo topic in our community so it's really difficult for survivors to ask for help," Rachel Freeman, President & CEO of the Sexual Assault Center.
"In the Nashville, Davidson County area there is been one primary place for rape survivors to go if they need a medical legal exam," she said.
For years, survivors would have to go to a hospital to seek care. Now after 10 years of planning, the "SAFE" or Sexual Assault Forensic Clinic, will be the first non-hospital facility in Nashville to collect rape kits for victims of sexual violence.
"We have created this wonderful, lovely space that is safe and nurturing and calm. It's a place where rape survivors can come after they've experienced this devastating crime that's a non-hospital setting because the majority of rape survivors do not need the care of the hospital," she said.
The clinic will see anyone 16-years-old or older. The rooms are designed to create a peaceful environment. Freeman says she hopes the new clinic will help survivors come forward and begin the healing journey.
Construction was funded entirely by private donations. SAFE clinic will be operated through a partnership between Metro General Hospital, the Metro Nashville Police Department and the Nashville District Attorney's Office. The clinic will be opening its doors between mid-to-late June.