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The Rape Counselors of East Alabama is committed to helping victims of sexual assault in Tallapoosa County.

The organization has been serving Tallapoosa, Lee, Macon and Chambers counties for almost 50 years. 

“We’re able to provide the victim services and support and answer questions,” executive director Vickie Dearing said. “They’re not always aware of the services or the counseling and having the support and advocacy with traumatic situation for healing process (helps).”

Its services are free and confidential to victims of sexual assault, their families and friends. The organization provides a 24-hour hotline, medical and legal advocacy, crisis intervention, gives referrals and can help file for the Alabama Crime Victim Compensation for victims. 

“We provide 24-hour victim services where we respond to them at the hospital and provide them with a rape kit,” executive director Vickie Dearing said. “We also provide training to law enforcement and community agencies.”

It also educates children in kindergarten through 12th grade on Erin’s Law, which teaches techniques to recognize child sex abuse and how to report it to adults. It also teaches safe dating to students in sixth through 12th grades.

Dearing said funds from the Lake Martin Area United Way help educate students in Tallapoosa County and train law enforcement. The funds also help victims by giving them clothing.

The organization has been operating since 1970. Dearing said it has seen an increase in calls because more people are reporting rape and assault, more services are being offered and more people are raising its awareness.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in calls and the numbers of calls we received in the last five to eight years our numbers have almost doubled,” Dearing said.

The service’s hotline phone number is 334-705-0510. Fore more information, call 334-741-0707 or email rceainc@yahoo.com. Rape Counselors of East Alabama is located at 6759 Lee Rd. 54, Suite B in Auburn.