HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Walk in Their Shoes fundraiser was held this weekend in Hampton. The event is a chance to support survivors of sexual assault.

There were 20 local organizations on hand to share resources, to spread awareness.

It’s the largest fundraiser for the Center for Sexual Assault Survivors. All of the funds raised support survivors.

WAVY has learned this year’s walk raised more than $11,400. That’s a considerable increase from last year.

“A lot of people don’t know that we exist, so we try to get the word out there,” said Jessi Brown, Center For Sexual Assault Survivors victim services program manager.

Leading the fundraising teamboard is the Riverside Health System Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. Elizabeth Young is the lead trauma nurse, and she works to make sure nurses are available at the emergency room 24 hours, 7 days per week.

“We are fortunate now that we are in the house,” Young said.

Young explained that survivors are carefully examined, evidence is collected and the person is tested for sexually transmitted infections.

“It’s reassuring to know that they were checked for infection,” Young said. “They were given medication to protect them, and we have that evidence if they ever want to use that. Syphilis has been on the rise in our area.”

Young said some people are apprehensive to visit the trauma center.

“The hesitancy, I think, comes with a lot of patients thinking that they are going to have to speak with law enforcement and that is just not the case,” Young said.

Rape kits may be stored for several years.

“We are mandated reporters if they are 17 and younger,” Young said. “We are mandated reporters if they are 60 and over. Just because we have to report does not mean they have to cooperate.”

The center also educates military members and schools on consent.

This year’s event was held the morning of April 15 at Peninsula Town Center, with 10 On Your Side’s Kiahnna Patterson serving as emcee. WAVY TV 10 was the official media sponsor.

To find out more about the Center, click here.