Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling celebrates 40 years

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling is celebrating its 40th year in the stateline.

Leaders say over the last few years, they have been making more school presentations and working to spread the word.

Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling sees 950 survivors of sexual assault and abuse a year. They say that the recent "Me too" hashtag has also helped make more people comfortable with sharing their stories.

"Before, it was much more taboo to talk about it; people didn't want to talk about it, which meant then victims of sexual abuse didn't get the help that they needed. Now, it's becoming more... that nobody gets to touch you without your permission and it's okay to tell a trusted person," says Clinical Director Erica Engler.

Leaders say they plan to continue to do more to spread the word about the fact that free and confidential treatment is available.