KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Police Department Chief Eve Thomas and Mayor Indya Kincannon applauded five women Wednesday for coming forward with allegations of abuse, assault, and harassments against former KPD Chief Deputy Ronald.

Green was placed on paid leave in August, the day the first complaint was filed. Although KPD’s Internal Affairs Unit couldn’t find evidence to support that particular claim, it was a catalyst for four other women to share their stories. Catherine Oaks, director of victim services at the McNabb Center, said that’s not uncommon.

“That really does take a lot of courage to put yourself out there in a position to speak out against something terrible that happened to you, that’s very personal, and to be able to talk about that to other people,” she said. “A lot of times survivors will speak in solidarity. So, when one person is able to speak out against sexual assault or sexual violence, many times that’s when other individuals also gain the courage to be able to do so.”

The oldest allegation made against Green dates back to 1998. Oaks explained there are several reasons a survivor may wait to come forward, as they often feel a mix of emotions including anger, grief, guilt, numbness and/or disbelief. Those feelings are coupled with their main concern: not being believed.

“If they go and tell a friend or family member and they question them or don’t believe that the events happened to them, then its even harder to reach out for help or speak out against what has happened,” Oaks said.

The impact on a survivor ranges and can be long-lasting. Intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse can all occur.

Oaks encourages anyone who is facing abuse, assault or harassment to reach out for support and to take advantage of local resources, like the McNabb Center. The center offers advocates and support services to 13 counties in East Tennessee. You can call the McNabb 24/7 crisis hotline at 865-522-7273.

Tiffany Davidson, executive director of the city Police Advisory and Review Committee said she can’t imagine what it is like to go through such an experience and hopes the women’s courage will encourage “other women to feel like they have the support of the community.”