LUBBOCK, Texas — Voice of Hope helps victims of sexual assault in Lubbock and the 11 surrounding counties.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Leslie Timmons with Voice of Hope says she was surprised to see a decrease in the number of cases they were seeing.
“If you’re locked down in a household where your violence is taking place it’s a bad situation,” Timmons said. “It was surprising but we know that there isn’t a decrease in sexual violence in fact it’s probably increased with quarantine.”
Now that restrictions have eased, Timmons says they’re seeing more victims not as worried to go to the hospital because of COVID-19 and they’re seeing more people calling their 24/7 rape crisis hotline.
And with this increase means an increase in the need to help victims, but to their comfort level.
“If they don’t want to come in we will schedule a Zoom meeting or a phone call,” Timmons explained. “But if they do want to come in and do face to face counseling they absolutely can do that. When they come in they’re required to wear a face mask and we take their temperature.”
The victim and counselor will also sit at least 6 feet apart.
Timmons says comfort is key.
That way counselors can help victims start moving forward.
“It’s really the road to healing,” Timmons explained. “We have a lot of victims who don’t want to pursue counseling for a while and that’s okay. It’s the first step and I think it’s one of the most important services that we provide because it’s free.”
Voice of Hope provides a number of free services.
The 24/7 Rape Hotline is (806) 763-RAPE (7273).
Voice of Hope: (806) 763-3232