Crime Victim Rights Week!

Hello community members!

We are excited to announce that next week, April 8th to the 14th, is National Crime Victim Rights Week.

This year’s theme is about expanding the circle and reaching all victims.

To honor this special week, The Crime Victim Advocacy Program will be having multiple tables to share knowledge, outreach, and education about victim rights and how our program helps our community.

You may find us at the following places next week:

Monday, April 9th, from 9 am to 2 pm, at the Cowlitz County Courthouse on the second floor. 

Tuesday, April 10th, from 10 am to 2 pm at the 7th Avenue Walmart in Longview

Wednesday, April 11th, from 8 am to noon, at the YMCA in Longview

Thursday, April 12th, from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Wahkiakum Public Library in Cathlamet

Friday, April 13th, from 3:30 to 7:30 pm at the YMCA in Longview

Thank you for allowing us to serve our community and we can’t wait to see you next week!




Human Trafficking Awarness Month

Hello community members!

We are excited to be starting off 2018 with a brand new blog post that we hope will help bring our community awareness and knowledge.

We understand that the content of this post may be triggering for some. Please know that if you or someone you know would like to speak with a Crime Victim Advocate, we are available Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm at 360-703-3762.

January marks the beginning of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Initially issued by President Barak Obama in 2011, this month is designed to create awareness and support for victims and survivors of Human Trafficking and modern day slavery.

According to Washington State Law, Human Trafficking is defined by two definitions.

Labor trafficking: A person is guilty of trafficking in the first degree when such person recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, provides, obtains, buys, purchases or receives by any means another person knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, (A) that force, fraud, or coercion as defined in RCW 9A.36.070 will be used to cause the person to engage in: forced labor; involuntary servitude.

Sex trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or that the person has not attained the age of eighteen years and is caused to engage in a sexually explicit act or a commercial sex act.

Many victims include, but are not limited to: children, teens, and adults who are facing homelessness, LGBTQ youth, those fleeing violent relationships, those needing to support their families, those who have faced trauma, and individuals who may not hold legal residency in the United States. However, anyone of any race, gender or social class can be a victim of trafficking.

While it is hard to know what to do when you identify someone as a victim of human trafficking, there are resources in Washington state that can help.

Below are state resources available to help victims of trafficking.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline


 Washington State Crime Victim Service Center Hotline


If you know of someone being victimized in Cowlitz County, the Emergency Support Shelter can also provide free and confidential advocacy and can be reached at 360-703-3762.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone in our community.

Knowledge can save lives.


Volunteer With CVAP!


Happy Friday community members! The Crime Victim Advocacy Program is excited to announce that we are looking for compassionate volunteers for our program.

The Crime Victim Advocacy Program (a program of ESS) serves victims of crime other than Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ie Identity Theft, Harassment, Assault, Child Abuse, etc).  Duties vary but could include assisting with outreach events, accompanying clients to court, preparing files, co-facilitating presentations with CVAP staff in the community, co-facilitating support groups with a CVAP advocate, researching current resources for clients and/or assisting with court dockets.

Volunteering is a great way to promote safety, hope and healing to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.  In order to fulfill the Washington state requirements, the trainings will total 30 hours.  Training starts in September, please call Cory at 360-353-5777 ext.28 for more information.  

As always, it is a privilege to serve our community.


New CVAP Holistic Services

The Crime Victim Advocacy Program (CVAP) has been in full swing since the beginning of July with two amazing new programs that focus on holistic healing that are free for anyone who has been impacted by crime.


We encourage you to learn about our new programs below and share them with your circle of friends, family members and coworkers.


The first new class  is called Young at HeART. Young at HeART is a free 10-week group for adults 55 years of age or older who have been impacted by criminal violence.

Image result for hands with heart photo

The group provides members with the opportunity to connect with others, who share similar experiences, while creating expressive art pieces that share their story and wisdom.


The goal with this group is to create an environment where participants feel empowered to make their own mark with confidence. One objective is to engage in creative arts activities that reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and enhance concentration all while making new social connections. No previous art or craft experience needed. Class cost is free and all art supplies are provided.


Young at HeART will be held on Monday’s starting in July from 12:30 to 1:30 pm 1335 11th Ave, Longview.


The second new class  is the Inner Harmony Women’s Journaling group. This is a free 10-week program for women 18 years of age or older who have been impacted by crime.

Image result for creative journalingImage result for creative journaling

Much like verbal journaling, visual journaling is a way to record life’s experiences. Instead of words, visual journaling involves the use of color, shape, or image to reflect a deep internal language that words cannot always describe. This group incorporates expressive writing techniques and creative arts activities that encourage self-exploration, reclaiming control, and the development of inner harmony. Participants will learn about visual journaling while creating their own journal the first week. Afterward, each week different themes and ideas will be given, providing group members time to create entries that give voice to the soul while focusing on exploring the self and expressing emotions.

This group will be taking place on Friday’s starting in July from 5 pm-6:30 pm at 1335 11th Ave in Longview. All supplies are provided.

To sign up for either or both groups please contact Cathy Reed at the Emergency Support Shelter at 360-353-5777 ext 18.

If you or anyone you know has been impacted by crime or is a victim of crime please know that a CVAP advocate can be reached Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 p.m. at 360-703-3762 or after hours and weekends at 888-288-9221.


Screenagers Movie Playing in Longview

Hello community members!

Are you a parent, teacher, mentor, sibling or adult who is struggling to understand the latest crazes with social media, internet addiction and video games? Are you worried that your teen is spending more and more time on digital devices?

If so, you are not alone.

The Longview Police Department is hosting a free viewing of the movie Screenagers on Tuesday, May 30th, at 6 pm at Kessler Elementary School located at 1902 E. Kessler Blvd, Longview WA.

The movie will have Spanish subtitles.

Screenagers was produced by Delany Ruston after she saw her own children spending 6.5 hours a day looking at a screen. The movie, Screenagers, shows Delany as she takes a personal approach and delves into the different layers of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. The movie reveals how time using technology affects kids’ development and offers solutions as to how adults can empower children to best navigate the digital world safely and find balance.

Tickets to the screening are free. Longview Police request that you RSVP via the Screenagers website at www.screenagersmovie.com

The Crime Victim Advocacy Program serves all victims of crime in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County including teenagers and children who have been victimized by bullying and are supportive of this free community event.

Our program will have a table at the screening with information about online safety as well as an advocate to debrief with after the movie. CVAP is also available to host a presentation about bullying and/or digital safety for your school or organization. Request a free training through our blog under the request a training tab.

We hope to see you there!







Crime Victim Advocacy Program’s Top Mobile Apps

Happy Thursday Cowlitz County!

We know that it can be hard to find the time to reach out for resources, information and help. We understand how busy day-to-day life can get, but we never want that to be a reason why a victim of a crime can’t access our services, access information or resources.  For that reason, we have compiled a list of the top mobile apps for your smartphones that intend to increase safety and provide information about about technology, identity theft, fraud, cell phone and internet safety, cyber bullying and harassment.

  1. The Identity Theft Resource Center App, also called ID Theft Help, is a free app that walks you through the steps to take if you have been a victim of ID theft or fraud, or if you want information about ID theft or Fraud. Crime Victim Advocates are also available Monday through Friday to help victims who live in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County. The app allows you to choose what kind of ID theft you have been victimized by. You can choose from financial, criminal, governmental, medical or if someone is using your child’s identity. The app then gives you the exact steps and phone numbers you need to call to begin the recovery process. It also has a list of resources including how to place a fraud alert, information about identity theft during tax season and how to protect your identity online. If you have any questions, the app comes with a live chat feature where you can speak with an expert at any time. Lastly, the app allows you to keep a case log where you can keep track of all the actions you have taken to help restore your identity. You can then export that log to your email for safekeeping. Again, Crime Victim Advocates are here to provide free and confidential services to all victims of crime in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties including those who have been a victim of ID theft and fraud. We can be reached at 360-703-3762 and after hours at 888-288-9221.


  1. The Tech Safety App is a free app that shows you step by step how to be safe while using your cell phone, laptop, social media sites and the internet. It also teaches you about location safety and online safety in an easy to understand format. It also has a list of resources about harassment, documenting evidence, talking with an advocate, going to the police and finding an attorney.



  1. The KnowBullying App is another free app that provides valuable information and insight about bullying. It includes conversation starters that peers, mentors or parents can have with their children and teaches adults how to speak with children and teens about bullying. It also lists resources such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, Stopbullying.gov and other links about bullying and prevention.


  1. The MY3 App is also free and is all about suicide prevention and safety planning. The app allows you to add contacts from your phone into it that you can call at any time when you feel you need a safe person to speak to. It allows you to enter in your own coping strategies, distractions, and reasons why your life is valuable and worth living. Once completed, you can email yourself your safety plan. The app also has a direct button that will connect you straight to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and another button directly connected to 911.


  1. Credit Karma is a free app that allows you to monitor your credit score, open accounts, closed accounts and hard credit inquiries. It is important to keep track of your credit information to ensure that all the information associated with your credit report is correct. If you suspect that anything on your credit report is fraudulent, contact a Crime Victim Advocate immediately or refer to the first app listed on this blog for further steps to take.


  1. VINEMobile is another free app and is an extension of the VINE Program that allows victims to register for notifications about offenders who are in jail or prison. Once you sign up for VINE, it allows you to register to receive notifications about the status of an inmate. VINE usually notifies someone when an inmate is released from jail or prison or transferred from one the Department of Correction’s facilities to another facility. With the VINE app, people can search the local Cowlitz County Jail (or any jail nationwide) for recent bookings or for all offenders. Once someone finds the person they are searching for, they can register for notifications straight from their phone. The app also connects people with other victim resources.


If you or anyone you know would like more information or is interested in receiving CVAP services please do not hesitate to reach out to us. It is  a privilege to serve our community.



Protect yourself from Identity Theft during tax season

Happy Monday, April 17th community members!

Today is Monday and it is also the day before taxes are due. Statistics and research show that more people each year are targeted victims of identity theft and fraud during and after tax season.

There are several reasons why we people are more prone during tax time to be victimized by identity theft scammers. Scammers know that W-2’s with individuals’ social security numbers are being sent in the mail.  It is easy for a scammer to go through a mailbox and try to find information about a person. A social security number, alongside a birthdate, name and address are easily accessible through prepared tax documents.

People who run scams are also becoming incredibly good at imitating police officers, banks and people from the IRS on the phone. Phone scams during tax season are one of the most common ways people become victimized by this crime. Please note that the IRS will never call you over the phone. The IRS communicates via official mailing documents only. Even then, it is recommend to call the IRS personally before giving or sending out any personal information.

The good news is that there are things we can do to try to protect ourselves from having our identity or personal information stolen. This does not mean that if you become a victim of identity theft that you did not protect yourself or that you did something wrong, but there are things you can do to reduce the chance that it will happen to you.

Some things you can do to keep your information safe:

-Attend Fibre Federal Credit Union’s Free Shred Day on April 22nd! Fibre is offering a wonderful opportunity for community members to bring up to three 10-ream paper boxes of documents and have them professionally shredded for free! This will destroy any sensitive information that you no longer need. Some items to consider shredding include: extra copies of W-2’s (always keep at least one at home), medical paperwork you no longer need, any documents offering soft offers of credit or insurance and any documents that have sensitive personal information. Fibre is asking for a suggested donation of non-perishable food items that they will donate to local food banks.

The event will be held behind Fibre’s main branch located at 822 Commerce Ave in Longview on Saturday, April 22, from 10 am to 2 pm.

-Invest in buying a shredder for your home. Shredders can be bought at most office stores such as Office Depot, Office Max, Staples or online through Amazon and can range from $25-300.  Shred documents that have your personal information on them if you do not need them.

-Invest in a lock box for sensitive information. The box should need a key or key code to get into it. It is a safe way to store your Social Security Card, Passport, checkbooks and other sensitive information.

– Invest in buying a locked mailbox that required a key to open it. This will prevent scammers from stealing your mail that has potential sensitive information. Locked mailboxes can often be bought from Home Depot or online.

-Check your credit reports through http://www.annualcreditreport.com once a year for your free credit report. For free reports during the year, sign up for an account through CreditKarma.com and keep track of your credit score, open and closed accounts and hard credit inquiries.  Hard credit inquires is when a company or individual runs for your credit because you have either applied for a mortgage, line of credit or auto loan.  

-Check your bank statements on a regular weekly or monthly basis. Be sure to check for any unwanted or unauthorized charges. If you see, anything that is not authorized be sure to contact your bank immediately.

Lastly, always feel free to contact the Crime Victim Advocacy Program with any questions you might have about Id theft, fraud, how to protect yourself and other steps. The CVAP program is free and confidential and be reached Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm at 360-703-3762.