Help network offers advice, support for victims of abuse - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Help network offers advice, support for victims of abuse

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

The Help Network of Northeast Ohio's Victims Advocate Program wants people to know to there is a place for victims to turn for help. 

The Help Network invited not only those who have experienced abuse, but also those who deal with abuse from a legal standpoint to speak about the problem during the 31st Annual Event in honor of Victims of Crime.

Every year the event takes place during National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which draws attention to the resources available for those who have suffered elderly abuse, identity theft, fraud, domestic violence, and more. 

Campbell Police Department Officer Melissa Williams said that as a victim, the most important thing is reaching out for help. 

"At the end of the day you're the most important thing, and if there are children involved they are the most important thing," said Officer Williams.  "So you need to do what's best for you as well as them. And I understand it's a mind game and you're under that control but you can do it and we're here to listen and we're here to help you. "

Officer Williams said any victim of any crime should feel safe to call the police, especially if it is a violent or dangerous crime such as domestic violence. 

But then, according to Officer Williams, it is important for the victim to follow through with the prosecutors and follow the steps. 

"There are plenty of people here, we will guide you through on your way," said Williams. 

But William's message also went further than that. 

"As law enforcement, we need to reach out. Law enforcement needs to let victims know that they will not be forgotten," she said. 

Those who need help, or believe they are a victim can also contact the Help Network of Northeast Ohio. 

The Help Network's Victims Advocate Program offers immediate crisis intervention and emergency linkage to rape counselors and domestic violence professionals/shelters. 

A Victims Advocate provides community support, advocacy and reassurance to victims of crime following a traumatic experience. 

A survivor of relationship violence testified to just how much the resources can help women in similar situations- explaining how she was able to get herself and her children out of an abusive situation. She said she now has a job, her own home, and feels much safer, thanks to the help she received from crisis counselors. 

Anyone can call the Help Network 24 hours a day, seven days a week by dialing 211. 
 

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