YWCA to mark Crime Victims Rights Week

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Saturday, April 21, 2012
— Most people are aware the YWCA of Rock County provides services to victims of domestic violence.

But advocates working at the nonprofit want people to know they are willing to help victims of any crime.

“We want the community to know that our doors are open 24/7,” said Latreece Sandlin, the Alternatives to Violence program coordinator. “They can come here.”

The shelter is preparing for the first time to participate in the national Crime Victims Rights Week, which runs tomorrow through Saturday. The week is promoted by the federal Department of Justice and is intended to raise awareness of resources available to victims of crimes, said Angela Sorkan, an intern with the YWCA.

The local nonprofit administers grant money from the Department of Justice that is intended to support crime victims. The money is used for a legal advocate, a volunteer coordinator and other professionals, Sandlin said.

Often, the services are for victims of domestic violence. In many cases, YWCA staff also work to connect one victim with many other services such as sexual assault recovery, mental health treatment or medical treatment, Sandlin said.

It’s common for victims of domestic violence to be victims of multiple crimes, she said.

“There’s always more to it than the act itself,” Sandlin said.

To get help

The YWCA of Rock County maintains the Alternatives to Violence program and a shelter for victims of domestic abuse and their children. The organization can provide resources for those who need to leave a violent situation or want to help a friend do so.

In Janesville, call (608) 752-2583. In Beloit, call (608) 365-1119. Visit ywca.org, click the “Find a YW” link at the top of the page, and then click the state of Wisconsin on the map. Be sure to use a safe computer.

Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.

To give help

The YWCA has volunteer opportunities available and welcomes donations of cash and household items. Volunteers also are needed at the shelter. Call (608) 752-5445 to donate or volunteer.

On the web

The YWCA of Rock County is recognizing national Crime Victims Rights Week, which takes place Sunday through Saturday. To learn more, visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.

Last updated: 8:06 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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