Today on the show we talk about the evils of barbed wire at night and Troopers with full enforcement powers. I will have links to the show at the bottom of the article.
I’m going to diverge a bit from my normal format of picking a subject from the show to write about and I am going to write about something that has been brought up several times recently in friend circles. Resources for victims of crime and domestic violence. The subject has came up multiple times on the podcast but prose has a more accessible format that is easy to access for anyone searching.
First and foremost the number one most important thing for anyone who is a victim of a crime or abuse is to call law enforcement. Abusers go to great lengths to isolate and control the target of their abuse; victims of violent crimes such as sexual assault often feel ashamed of what happened and are unwilling to contact authorities. These groups have in common a stigma attached to contacting law enforcement. Some of this stigma may even be as a result from previous dealings with law enforcement that did not go as hoped.
The first priority should be contacting law enforcement so critical evidence is not lost. Without a person willing to take the step to report a crime law enforcement is not able to do much about person’s crimes. In cases such as domestic abuse and sexual assault there is a time frame associated with the physical evidence and how long the evidence stays on the body. Law enforcement authorities are also experienced at getting in touch with local resources who can help with the process such as the YWCA or local crime victim advocates.
If you are uncomfortable reporting the crime to authorities but want to get out of a bad situation or need help dealing with a previous situation there are several places you can turn to. First and foremost in my mind is the YWCA. The YWCA runs a 24 hour domestic violence hotline in the United States for all victims of domestic violence. Victim advocates in your area will get in contact with you after calling and help you with getting resources such as a safe house or in some cases money to get out from under the onus of financial isolation. The primary thing the YWCA provides is someone that can help you be strong through the process. Getting away from domestic abuse is a long process and requires making difficult choices over and over again. Your advocate is there to help you in any way they can. I will be posting hotline numbers and website links at the bottom of this article.
The second important resource available in your area that is less well known is your local crime victim advocates office. These are local agencies normally run by your town or city that assist individuals with the process of reporting a crime or going through the criminal justice process. In general those that are perpetrating the crimes have more experience with the justice system than those who are victimized. Your crime victim advocates office is there to help even the playing field and assist you in reporting and following through on your report.
The last resource I will be writing about is less of a local resource. For those that have been victims of sexual assault and have not reported or are not willing to report. The RAINN organization runs a 24 hour online and phone hotline for victims of sexual assault and abuse. They are dedicated to confidentiality and not releasing information without your consent. In instances where you or someone you know is not willing to speak about what happened to a friend or family member they may be willing to speak to an anonymous person who is there only to listen.
In conclusion I want to reiterate how important it is to quickly report to local law enforcement when you are the victim of a crime. Sexual assault and domestic violence are two of the most difficult to prosecute types of cases in the United States and often that is a result of the reporting window and lack of physical evidence. Thank you.
YWCA hotline for domestic and sexual violence
Online chat: online.rainn.org
Phone: (800)656-HOPE (800-656-4673)
Links to the podcast:
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