Runners help raise money to open forensic exam site for sexual assault survivors

5K proceeds to go towards forensic exam site

The fifth annual Phoenix Rising 5K in Gray is set for Saturday, April 1. Event organizers say the race has brought in almost $70,000 over the course of five years. 

The proceeds benefit sexual assault survivors served by the Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia.

Our Madison Cavalchire found out what the money they raise will go towards this year.

“Typically when someone's experienced sexual assault, they have to go to the emergency room to have evidence collected,” said advocate Dottie Stafford.

But this year, event organizers say the proceeds are going toward something special -- a new forensic exam site. Sexual assault victims won't have to go to an emergency room or police station.

"ERs are great, but they're chaotic and there's always so many people there,” said Stafford.

Stafford says victims will be more comfortable with nurses and law enforcement, especially those trained to deal with sexual assault cases.

They already have a space for the site, but she says they'll need about $100,000 to get it up and running.

That's where the upcoming Phoenix Rising 5K comes in.

"The event is from 3-8 p.m., and in addition to the race [and fun run] at 6, there are also going to be silent auction items. Drew Whitehead is going to be there with live music,” said therapist Katherine Holtzclaw.

Holtzclaw is a therapist at Reflections Psychotherapy in Gray, where the 5K will start and end.

"Last we served 147 new victims of sexual assault in our service area,” said Stafford.

She says that number shows the need for an exam site. She’s hoping that with the proceeds from the race, the site will be ready to serve victims next year.

You can register for the Phoenix Rising 5K beforehand online, or on the day of the race.

The event begins at 3 p.m. and the race begins at 6 p.m. The address is 183 W. Clinton St. in Gray.

Register online here or here.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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