Sexual Assault Response Center Celebrates 30 Years - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sexual Assault Response Center Celebrates 30 Years

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Sexual Assault Response Center, SARC, will celebrate its 30th anniversary Friday.

Sexual abuse continues to be a problem both in our community and around the world.

The center has helped thousands of victims through the years in the Tri-Cities community. 

It is a program that helps victims of sexual assault.  The agency has helped men, women and children.  It started in 1977 by three local women who thought more needed to be done for rape victims.

Current SARC Director JoDee Garretson said, "If these three women wouldn't have started it and if the community didn't jumped on board as quickly as they did, we wouldn't be were we are today, helping thousands. "

Founder Shirley Miller said, "We'd hear these women's stories ...  and we decided we needed more structure in our community for victims."

Garretson said in the last five years they have seen a 50 percent increase in clients.  She believes that population growth along with the communities increased awareness and ability to come forward.

Police work closely with SARC workers any time there is a sexual assault in the community.  Kennewick Sergeant Scott Child said, "I'm so excited that this program is part of the community.  It's certainly an asset to law enforcement."

Garretson said that national statistics report that one in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted in some form in our country.