These women are not Mississippi riverboat gamblers! They are Texas811 employees enjoying a casino night raising funds for The Turning Point, a sexual violence and crisis center for women and men alike, at www.theturningpoint.org.
Like us, The Turning Point is a non-profit, is open 24/7/365 and has been around for over 30 years – but unlike helping locate buried utilities, they are instead concerned with reducing the prevalence of sexual violence in our community and restoring the emotional and physical well-being of rape and bullying survivors. Notice I said survivors – not victims. The Turning Point believes that a “victim” loses their ability to fight their way forward again. A “survivor” becomes a stronger person through their will to keep moving.
This organization provides free counseling, education, and advocacy services in North Texas to treat and prevent bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Their 24 Hour Crisis Hotline at 800-886-7273 provides resources for survivors to turn before, during and after an assault. Volunteer advocates are trained to listen, assess the needs of the caller, offer support, and plan for their safety. When appropriate, the crisis volunteer will notify the police department, hospital, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and an advocate from The Turning Point to assist the person. And, shocking as it is, age is no boundary. The youngest person helped this year has been 12 months old, and the oldest so far is 78.
A SANE nurse is a registered nurse who has gone through a certified training program in order to provide specific care to victims of Sexual Assault. 96 hours of didactic and clinical training must be completed in order to obtain certification. They perform forensic examinations at the request of survivors or law enforcement. SANE’s are responsible for identifying and documenting physical trauma.
They are trained to testify in court proceedings and research has shown that SANE examinations have increased conviction rates.
The Turning Point firmly believes that for change to occur, each person has a responsibility and must do their part to prevent sexualized violence. The Turning Point Education teams offers education programs which emphasize the effects of bullying, sexual harassment and sexualized violence to individuals, schools, faith-based communities, law enforcement, medical practitioners and businesses to reach this goal.
Their many programs are fueled by their dedicated staff, caring volunteers and generous donors.
That’s where Texas811 comes in, and now we’re back full circle. If you’re reading this in North Texas, consider making a small donation to The Turning Point at http://www.theturningpoint.org/what_you_can_do/donations/giving.html .
If you’re reading this in another state – there’s a women’s shelter near you that could use your help.
Remember, helping fund programs like this is not a gamble – it’s a safe bet!