Click play below to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson visit with House of Hope Victim Advocate, Tiffany Dehn and Clara Rinne, Family Support Specialist:

Ray County held a Victims Luncheon to honor law enforcement officers, social workers, advocates, and every other person working every house-of-hope-logoday to end the ongoing and ever grower cycle of domestic and sexual abuse. This time was also spent reflecting on the past and raising awareness for the future. “An advocate is somebody who can help speak for you and represent you as a person,” stated Dehn, “I myself have been through domestic violence so I understand what it is in its entirety. You know we can use that as a choice in how we will let it affect our lives, if we’re going to reach out and touch the community with our stories. You know I think that’s probably the number one reason why I’ve chosen to do that, is because I know that I have something that I can offer and an understanding that maybe not everyone would get.”

These advocates are truly there for victims in every way that they can be. “Helping them move from the victim role into survival role,” Dehn explained her position, “So teacher them about domestic and sexual violence, what some red flags are to look for these things, how children are effected and that’s really where Clara comes in because that’s more of her specialty in dealing with children and families.”

The horrible reality is that children are often times subjected to acts they should not have to see, hear, and deal with. “A lot of times Tiffany and I will go into the homes and she’ll speak with the adults so then I’ll take the kiddos so they don’t have to listen to the grown up stuff,” domestic-violence-graphic1-630x315Rinne explained a few details of her position, “I build a positive relationship because a lot of times they’ve been in chaotic situations and they don’t know what a positive relationship is. This allows them to feel and see and actually know what that is and then it also enables the moms to see how to do it too and what a positive relationship looks like.”

The first step in the fight is always the hardest part. That step is having the courage to step forward and say there is a problem and I do need help. “There are resources available and I would strongly encourage anybody who even suspects that they may be dealing with domestic violence or having family issues,” Dehn expressed, “Dealing with drug addiction or sexual abuse or anything of the sort, just to reach out. Some places, like House of Hope is a place where we can help whoever comes to our doors whether it be access services, or resources, or information, or just be a listening ear.”