While assisting men trying to get sober, these men would tell Dylan about their experiences of being sexually assaulted while they were children and when they were adults. He was unsure of how to help these individuals and after a few conversations with a college advisor he was introduced to ELAWC.
What it takes to become certified to counsel and advocate
Dylan dedicated himself to 65 hours of training. These hours consisted of education regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, suicide, human trafficking, child abuse, elder abuse, hospital visits, self defense, documented/undocumented victims' rights, and other legal advocacy avenues.
24 hour bilingual crisis hotline
24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, the ELAWC will be there to answer your call. They will provide resources and crisis intervention counseling.
ELAWC provides advocate and counseling accompaniments to police stations, hospitals, and courthouses.
In house resources
ELAWC provides individual and small group counseling, HIV testing, trauma informed yoga, DV and SA education classes and much more.
ELAWC in committed to providing Los Angeles county. They to this by attending various community and college health and wellness fairs.
Hope Reigns Supreme (day in the life of an advocate)
Today, I was an on-call advocate for 12 hours for the East LA Women's Center. This was for hospital accompaniments which is something I often do, but I felt compelled to share a little about what it entails. Being on-call means waiting for police departments to call me and tell me they are taking someone to the hospital who had been sexually assaulted and now needs an exam. I am part of what is named the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Today, I didn't receive a call. Now, this sounds like a good thing, and, for the most part, it is. When I don't get a call, I like to think this means that no one was sexually assaulted in the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, the statistics don't match what I want to think. Every 98 seconds someone is sexually assaulted and every 8 minutes one of those is a child and only 6 out of every 1000 perpetrators will go to prison.
So, I hate hearing that phone ring because I know someone is hurting, someone just went through the worst experience of their life. It especially breaks my heart when the voice on the phone tells me that the victim is a child. However, I know I must check my emotions at the door, and I must be strong for the survivor. I must advocate for their needs, and I must ensure they are being treated with utmost respect and dignity. Before I enter the hospital, I pray for strength and guidance in hopes that my presence gives that person some semblance of comfort and hope. When I leave the hospital I often drive home in silence and on occasion, I cry. I cry because of their pain, their trauma, and that someone, somehow could do that to another person. I also leave with a glimmer of hope.
Getting the call is terrible, but, it also means someone is taking a step on their journey towards healing. I leave with hope because I just sat across from a person that showed more strength and courage than some people (including myself) will display in a lifetime. I have hope because I was able to leave them with information about how to get further help. I have faith because even in the darkest of moments I know that one day if the survivor so chooses, they can use this terrible and tragic experience to connect with others and let them know they are not alone. I know that our experiences will help benefit others and that each one of us is uniquely qualified to help another person.
If you hear a friend, sibling, or relative make "jokes" or make comments that blame a victim, who laugh about sexual harassment and think its funny to talk about ways in which they have exploited someone (some might refer to this as "locker room" talk). Say something, let them know it's not okay, be willing to say that those things are NOT ok. I encourage everyone to do their own research into sexual assault and domestic violence. I encourage you all to find ways to volunteer. There are many organizations and college campuses that are always looking for people to be a part of the solution.