Victims of domestic violence have access to a support system through the Victim Services Program operating from within the Hurricane City Police Department and serving all of eastern Washington County.
Tiffany English serves as the Eastern Washington County Victim Assistance Coordinator. Tiffany works with victims and helps them throughout the often confusing legal process they face. Among the many services provided by the Victim Services Program are assistance with protective orders, child protective orders, stalking injunctions and victim reparation applications; counseling referrals; and transportation to safe houses in times of crisis.
Funded with grants from the federal Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Crime Act, the advocate position stems from an in depth collaboration between various law enforcement and service agencies that serve Eastern Washington County.
"Law enforcement tends to focus on the perpetrator, leaving victims to wonder what to do next. That tends to re-victimize the victim," said Chief Lynn L. Excell. "During these tough economic times, a lot of people are having a rough time getting through it. Domestic violence calls go up." Under the grant, the agencies collaborating on the project must provide a 25 percent match in either cash or in-kind services. An enthusiastic response from area law enforcement agencies guaranteed a quick match for the grant funds. The Washington County Sheriff's Office provided a vehicle; Hurricane Police designated an office and equipment; Springdale issued a cell phone and provided office space; and La Verkin provided a computer, printer and office space for English to use. Smaller communities have offered space at local fire stations where English can meet with victims as needed in a neutral, safe haven closer to where they live.
Communities to be served by English include Hurricane, Leeds, Toquerville, La Verkin, Virgin, Apple Valley, Rockville, Springdale, New Harmony and portions of unicorporated Washington County.
English said volunteers are needed to help the program grow. Those interested can fill out an application at their local town hall or police station. Training will be provided for those who qualify.
For more information, contact English at the Hurricane Police Department at 635-9663 ext 118 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.