Established in 1974 at Santa Monica Hospital, the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) is recognized internationally for its pioneering work and exemplary treatment, prevention, and education programs. The RTC has had a leadership role in advancing policy reforms, creating multi-agency partnerships, and developing innovative service delivery models to help bring justice and compassionate care to victims wherever they turn for help.
State-of-the-Art, Comprehensive Services for Victims
The Rape Foundation supports the comprehensive, state-of-the-art free services the Rape Treatment Center provides for sexual assault victims – adults and children – 24 hours a day, including highly specialized emergency medical care, forensic/evidentiary services, crisis counseling, advocacy, accompaniment, and information about rights and options to help victims make informed choices and decisions. The RTC also provides ongoing, longer-term, trauma-informed therapy and other support services for victims and their significant others.
Pioneering Models to Enhance Victim Care
The Rape Foundation established the Rape Treatment Center’s Verna Harrah Clinic at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center in 1999, an innovative, highly specialized Clinic that transformed 24-hour emergency care for sexual assault victims. In most communities, sexual assault victims who seek immediate treatment and forensic services – adults and children – are seen in busy hospital emergency departments where they are often subjected to long waits to receive care. The Verna Harrah Clinic is dedicated exclusively to sexual assault victim care 24 hours a day. It is located within the hospital, in a private, safe, therapeutic setting. The Clinic is staffed by highly trained professionals with specialized expertise in the medical, forensic, and psychological aspects of victim care. It is a model for the nation.
They took amazing care of me — they treated my injuries, they collected all of the evidence, and they started to help heal my shattered self.
Education, Training and Prevention Programs
The RTC provides training for providers of victim services, including police, prosecutors, medical and mental health practitioners, to enhance the treatment victims receive wherever they turn for help.
RTC community education programs disseminate information about various forms of sexual abuse to foster support for victims and engage the public in effective prevention strategies.
The RTC advocates for policy and institutional reforms to change discriminatory practices and give victims important rights and protections in the systems and institutions they turn to for help.
Education and Prevention Programs
The Rape Foundation has supported prevention education programs for students and school personnel in middle schools, high schools, and on college campuses, including the Rape Treatment Center’s Roads to Respect™ program. These programs foster empathy, social responsibility, respectful relationships, and moral courage. Students learn about the impacts of sexual assault/abuse/harassment, and other forms of peer mistreatment, how to safely intervene to prevent a peer from being victimized, the importance of getting help in the aftermath of victimization, and how to contribute to a culture of respect in their schools and other peer communities. The Foundation also supports educational conferences for parents, school personnel, coaches for youth sports, and other providers of services for youth.