More rape cases reported in Nashville in last three years

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Both prosecutors and advocates for rape victims are reporting more instances of people coming forward reporting the crime in the past three years.

Over the Labor Day weekend, the Sexual Assault Center conducted its 500th rape kit after becoming the main hub for collecting rape kits since 2018.

“Over the course of the last three years, in partnership with Nashville General Hospital, we’ve provided 500 rape exams,” said Rachel Freeman, president of the Sexual Assault Center.

“It’s also very disheartening that that many rapes happening in our community,” Freeman said.

Tammy Meade, a Davidson County assistant district attorney, said they too are seeing more victims coming forward.

While the turnaround time for getting the results of rape kits has improved, the average kit still takes between two to three months to process at the Metro Police Crime Lab.

“Sometimes we have to say, look, you’ve got to have a little patience here. The labs and the personnel are working as fast as they can, we just have a lot of it here in Nashville,” Meade said.

The answer to why the number of reported rapes is increasing may be the center itself.

Three years ago, it opened a safe center where victims can avoid going to the emergency room and still get a rape kit as well as counseling.