Women's Center of East Texas needs volunteers - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Women's Center of East Texas needs volunteers

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - The Women's Center of East Texas in Longview says it is critically low on volunteers right now. The agency depends on volunteers to continue offering services to sexual assault victims.

One of its newest programs is called H.E.A.R.T. It's an acronym that stands for Hospital Emergency Advocacy Response Team. Volunteers receive training to provide comfort, support and services to survivors of sexual assault.  This is just one of many ways to get involved with the Women's Center.

Being a H.E.A.R.T. volunteer means becoming one of the sexual response advocates. These volunteers go to the hospital if there is a sexual assault victim needing support through their process.

"It's hard. It's not something that people want to come forward and say this has happened to me."

Non-residential projects director Brooke King says that's why volunteers are so valuable.

"They are so crucial as far as providing backup and relief to our staff."

Advocates go through a 40-hour training process. There is also a need for volunteers internally to help with paperwork and spreading the word about the Women's Center.

"Currently, our volunteer numbers are not very high."

King says the goal is to make women aware of their services before a crisis happens, but they can't do that without help. 

"You can ask anybody, what are your rights when you are arrested? People can start naming them one by one. You ask them, what are your rights if you're a victim of a crime? And, people don't know. And so, that's part of what our job is- to make sure victims truly know what their rights are throughout this process."
 
A process, King says, that shouldn't be handled alone.

 


 

 

 


 

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