Rape Crisis Center offers new camp for young survivors

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A new camp in Savannah is focusing on teenage survivors of sexual assault.

So far this year, 16 girls between the ages of 8 to 17 have been victimized.

“These girls could have gone through the ranges of molestation’s,” Shaniqua Harmon, a counselor with the Rape Crisis Center, said. “It could’ve been just stranger rape.”

Poetry, visual art, guest speakers and the peaceful setting of Savannah’s Botanical Garden is some of the ways the Rape Crisis Center is helping young survivors cope with what they’ve been through.

“We’re not doing any counseling here,” Harmon said.  “We’re just basically focusing on self-esteem, empowerment, health and wellness and coping skills.”

This is an effort to make these young women grow into stronger people.

“When they’ve gone through some of the things that they’ve gone through it kind of pushes their self-worth down,” Harmon said. “It makes them feel like they’re not worthy of all the great things that this world has to offer.”

And to keep what happened to them from becoming a burden.

“They learn how to rely on maybe their peers and their support system and just feel like when it’s hard to go on that they have the power within to be able to keep going,” Harmon said. “Talking about things they can do on a regular basis. Just kind of keep their spirits up and deal and cope with the daily pressures of life.”

From 2015 to this year, 369 women in Savannah are victims of sexual assault.

Eighty-five of those women are in the eight to 17 age range and officials said those numbers are rising.

“We’re focusing on girls who have been abused in some way,” Harmon said. “And if they need us we’re here in every capacity that we can be for them.”

The Rape Crisis Center will be hosting the same event at the same location for female survivor’s ages 8 to 13 next month.

To RSVP your slot send an email to counselor@rccsav.org or call 912-233-3000.

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