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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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National Crime Victims Rights Week 2017

Hello Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Community members!

Welcome to the Crime Victim Advocacy Program’s first ever blog post. If you were a former recipient of our monthly newsletters, you know how much educating and connecting with our community means to us. This blog will be replacing our newsletters. Please sign up to subscribe to our blog so you can stay connected with all the latest and greatest CVAP news!

We are launching our CVAP blog today because today marks the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme is Strength, Resilience and Justice.

Here, we break down the three components of this year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Strength.

When we hear the word strength, we tend to think of a few different things. Sometimes we think of physical strength: how much weight someone can lift or how much someone can pull.  Physical strength can be empowering, but the kind of strength we are focusing on during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is inner strength.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” What Gandhi means by an “indomitable will” looks different for different people including survivors of crime. For some, that might mean healing from a traumatic experience or seeking justice against the person who victimized them. For others, that might be the sheer willingness to survive day to day and take it one-step at a time. Whichever fits for you, we want you to know that our Crime Victim Advocates are here to support you along the way.

Resilience.

Resilience is what keeps us moving forward, even after experiencing deep pain and tragedy. In Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Rise” she talks about a person, that no matter how many obstacles come against her, she continues to rise.

“Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I rise.”

We as humans, victims and survivors, continue to rise each day. Sometimes rising means barley making it out of bed that day, sometimes rising means having a good cry and sometimes rising means having good self-care or seeking counseling.

There is no wrong way to rise.

We celebrate all the ways survivors rise each and every day here in our community and around the world.

It takes strength to rise.

Justice.

Justice, especially in today’s world, can mean many different things for people and especially for victims and survivors of crime.

We seek justice through our court systems, personal lives and societies. Sometimes justice is fulfilled and other times we are left searching for it for a long time.

But what if there is a different kind of justice right in front of us?

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” (Cornel West).

We may never get all the proper justice as survivors and victims of crime that we deserve and are entitled to. We can, however, accept and help one another through times of difficulty and pain and that in itself can be a different form of justice. Validation and support provided in a sincere way can be very impactful for someone’s healing journey.

It is never the victims fault when they are victimized by a crime. Unfortunately, it’s the victims who are left to pick up the pieces after the crime is committed. Crime Victim Advocates are here to help put the pieces back together one by one.

The person that committed the crime or the actual crime itself can try to leave that person feeling desperate and alone. It may feel like there is no hope and that their spirit is broken. Nevertheless, through human justice, we rise together to help and support one another.

It takes immense strength to rise and it takes rising together to create justice and to define what justice may mean to you.

While honoring Crime Victims’ Rights week, we hope to rise together as a community to bring about strength and justice in its various forms.

Crime Victim Advocates are here to support victims of crime and their loved ones. Reach us at 360-703-3762.

It is an honor to serve our community.