Rape Center opens new facility

The Women’s Rape Crisis Center (WRCC)moved into a new location on April 8, after struggling in an old basement which was too small for their needs. The new center, a brick house at 336 North Avenue, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Vermont Governor Jim Douglass. “Vermont is a very safe place,” Douglass said before cutting the ribbon “but we still have some real problems… These services are more critical than ever.” The new building was desperately need?ed by the WRCC, which has served over 400 survivors last year alone. “It’s nice to know that there would be a population of people that I could find comfort in,” said UVM freshman Emma Noakes of the center’s services. WRCC offers help to male and female victims of rape, sexual assault, abuse and other traumatizing types of victimization. The new location offers a more spacious and inviting atmosphere for survivors, with an education center, a ‘survivor space’ for recovery and a conference room for group meetings. The ceremony April 8 also marked the beginning of WRCC’s capital campaign, in which they will attempt to raise the additional funds required to complete the sale of the new building. However, the move to the new space has not been without difficulties. The center faced zoning regulations regarding the use of the formerly residential area, but found the City of Burlington was willing to work with WRCC to see that things moved forward.