Seminar focuses on being victim advocate

Published 7:24 pm Monday, October 24, 2016

By Alaina Denean Deshazo | The Selma Times-Journal

The Family Sunshine Center and Stand Together Against Rape (STAR) have partnered to hold a sexual assault course for anyone interested in becoming an advocate for victims. The training is free and will be held Nov. 9 and 11 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Family Resource Center, located at 10096 Alabama Highway 14.

“We’re hoping to train volunteers so if there is a sexual assault in the Dallas and Wilcox counties that they can come and be an advocate for the victim,” said Danielle George, training coordinator. “Hopefully, we can bring more awareness to the community that we serve and also get more people involved so if there is a sexual assault case that happens … that maybe we can have advocates.”

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George said she is also trying to get the District Attorney’s office and the police department involved so they can instruct advocates on what to do when an assault does happen.

“I think sexual assault is a topic that is not talked about a lot, it’s swept under the rug,” George said. “So we want to bring it to the forefront as much as possible. We want to get the public involved … that way we can make a community effort to make it a more talked about topic.”

George said the training would offer people in the community an opportunity to help others in a time of need.

“They’re going to learn about the myths of sexual assault, what to do, what are some of the common themes that people may not expect to know, just some of the common reactions to sexual assault and how to deal with it in a civil and legal manner,” George said. “It’s going to be well rounded.”

For more information about the training course or to register, contact George at 399-1451.

“Sexual assault is a problem, but it can be solved with knowledgeable citizens of the community,” George said.