By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Warden Michele Buckner welcomed Licking Mayor Keith Cantrell as National Crime Victim’s Rights Week (April 23 – April 29) was proclaimed at the South Central Correctional Center on Tuesday, April 25.
The proclamation recognized that “Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change.” SCCC’s dedication and the City of Licking’s commitment to giving victims of crime legal standing, support, protection and voice in the criminal justice process was reaffirmed. Warden Buckner concurred in recognition of Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Following the Proclamation, Joe Satterfield, Correctional Program Specialist, spoke on victims’ awareness, sharing that one in four women and one in ten men experience sexual violence. He then introduced the offender organizations within SCCC, who presented Shelley Swearingin, Outreach Director with the Russell House, a check donation. Contributors included the Gavel Club #79 with $500; Healing Paws, which is SCCC’s Puppies for Parole program with $300; NAACP/SCCC with $500; and the Restorative Justice Organization with $100, a queen size quilt, a baby quilt and a braided rug.
SCCC staff members generously donated immediate need necessities that included paper towels, hygiene products, bags and laundry baskets. Tina Trevino, SCCC Community Communications Chairman thanked the staff for their donations.
Swearingin thanked all contributors, and also recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Teal ribbons were left for SCCC staff to wear in support of sexual assault survivors and to bring awareness to widespread occurrences of sexual violence.
The program concluded with a closing prayer by SCCC Chaplain Collins.
Russell House is a non-profit organization that assists victims of domestic and sexual violence. This year marks its 30th anniversary. The organization was founded in 1993 and opened its first shelter in 1994. Currently, Russell House operates an emergency shelter and outreach offices in Phelps, Maries, Dent and Crawford Counties.
Russell House provides emergency shelter, crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, safety planning, and operates a 24/7-crisis line at 800-998-8340. You do not need to live at the shelter to get help; you can work with one of their outreach advocates. If you are not in their four-county area, you can call the crisis line to be given resources near you. All services are free and confidential. To learn more, you can visit www.russellhousemo.org.
Photos by Christy Porter