Tiffany English, Victim Assistance Coordinator, said the $22,071.20 grant awarded to the program through the federal Violence Against Women Act would provide much needed help to hundreds of people.
“This year our focus will be to cover 1,000 square miles on the east side of the county,” said English. Collaborative partners in the program include the police departments from Hurricane, LaVerkin and Springdale, along with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah State Parks. Satellite offices for English and the victims she may assist are available at the Hurricane, Springdale and LaVerkin police department offices, she added.
“I want people to know we are here and available to help them,” English said. “I go to court every week and see people trying to do their own stalking injunctions or protective orders. That’s something I can help them with so that they get the best possible outcome. People don’t need to try and do that on their own.”
Victims of domestic violence are often worried others will think poorly of them or that it’s embarrassing to call for help, said English.
“People need to get past thinking like that. It’s never OK to hit your spouse, companion, roommate, partner or children,” she said. “We need to break the stereotype that victims have of not wanting people to find out (about domestic violence).”
When English responds to assist a victim of a domestic violence call, she makes a commitment to be there until she is no longer needed.
“I attend court cases so victims know the status of their cases. I assist victims in getting protective orders and respond at the hospital if there is a sexual assault. I help them through that process,” she said.
Certain resources are available through the state crime victim reparation fund for victims as well, English noted. Funding may be provided to assist with the loss of earnings due to a crime, medical care as the result of a crime, mental health counseling and even relocation costs.
Over the past year, English responded to 220 domestic violence incidents from throughout the east side of Washington County. Among the calls were victims of assault, family fights, stalking and sexual assault. One volunteer helps English with follow up calls to victims and paperwork while another is trained and available to mobilize in a crisis.
“We don’t keep bank hours. Our mobile crisis responds 24/7,” said English. “Domestic violence won’t go away and we can’t ignore it. The more calls I go out on, the more I can see how much we are needed.”