Reporting Sex Crimes: Different numbers from police, Rape Crisis - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Reporting Sex Crimes: Different numbers from police, Rape Crisis Center

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Should you be made aware of every sexual assault or rape in your community for the good of overall public safety?

In Savannah, the answer is different depending on who you talk to. 

WTOC decided to ask because sex crimes continue to be a problem, yet reporting of this crime doesn't always reflect that. 

There is a privacy issue here, but advocates think crimes can be reported while maintaining privacy.

There's still a lot we don't know about the most recent sexual assault cases in our area, but according to one area advocate group, one happened in the Berwick area last Thursday night.

"All we know is that there was an account that an individual was in her home, and unfortunately she was awakened to someone there and raped her,” said Rape Crisis Center Director Kesha Gibson-Carter.

We never found out about the rape from police, and when WTOC called Savannah-Chatham Metro's public affairs office, they didn't have any information on the case.

In fact, in October, we've only received one release on a reported sexual assault from Metro even though the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire has directly assisted in seven cases this month alone.

If you try to look sexual assaults up on the police department's interactive crime map, you'll come up empty-handed. WTOC asked Metro Police and told it's to protect victim identity. A spokeswoman explained that releases don't go out when the rape is reported anonymously, or if the crime happens between acquaintances, unless the suspect is a threat to the public or police need help finding the suspect.

Regardless of any notification, residents of Berwick we spoke to say they always keep an eye out for trouble.

“If they notice anything that seems out of the ordinary, it's just neighbors looking out for neighbors. If there's a car that's parked that looks suspicious, or if there's packages that are going missing or even a neighbor that knows someone in another neighborhood that they know some issues that are going on,” said Berwick resident, Lindsey Von Broembsen.

"It may be a safe area, but not everybody who lives here comes here,” said Berwick resident, David Cruz.

SCMPD’s rape numbers are down by 12 from this time last year.

The Rape Crisis Center has actively assisted with 120 cases this year, that's only 11 shy of last year's total.

Click here to learn more about the Rape Crisis Center.

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