In this quarter's issue of Frontline, we highlight the efforts of HopeWorks of Howard County and the services they provide for survivors of sexual assault.
1. Tell us about HopeWorks and the issues that your organization tackles. HopeWorks was formed in 1976 to meet the needs of women who had experienced abuse in Howard County. In order to address these needs, a helpline was established to provide support to survivors of abuse. Over time, HopeWorks has evolved into an organization that addresses many forms of violence, including sexual and domestic violence. The services we provide to survivors of sexual assault and abuse include a 24-hour helpline, counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, and residential services.
2. What sexual assault prevention work does your organization do? One of the main components of our prevention work here at HopeWorks is providing educational workshops in the community. Through these free workshops, we strive to spread awareness of the issue of sexual assault and provide information on various topics, including how to recognize and prevent sexual violence, bystander intervention, and building healthy relationships. HopeWorks offers a wide variety of workshops for youth and adults, as well as training opportunities for professionals.
3. What are some of the services that HopeWorks provides? HopeWorks offers support and assistance to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence by providing a 24-hour helpline service, where trained crisis intervention specialists are available to assist survivors who are in crisis, seeking counseling, or are in need of a place to stay. We also offer residential services to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, including emergency shelter and transitional housing options. Hospital accompaniment is an additional important component of the work we do to support survivors of sexual assault. We have trained advocates available to accompany survivors at the hospital and provide support during Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (SAFEs). The advocates who provide hospital accompaniment are also equipped with knowledge about available resources for sexual assault survivors. Another crucial component of our work at HopeWorks is counseling services. We provide many options for counseling, including crisis and short-term counseling for survivors, counseling for children, and group therapy sessions. Community outreach is another part of what we do here at HopeWorks. Our outreach efforts include attending community events, such as health fairs and community festivals, in order to spread the word about the services HopeWorks has to offer. We are extremely passionate about our outreach and educational efforts and creating positive change in our community when it comes to preventing sexual violence.
To find out more about HopeWorks of Howard County and their dedication to supporting and advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, please click here.