She was so outraged eight years ago when she heard about the sexual abuse of children by priests in the Catholic Church that she decided she wanted to do what she could to help young abuse victims in her own community.
So she contacted Rural Resources Victim Services, which helps victims of crime including domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in Stevens County. And she asked to be put to work.
“If you feel passionate about stopping the abuse of children and helping women to get back on their feet, this is the place to be,” says Val, a retiree and homemaker who has lived in Colville for 33 years.
Since starting at the Center in 2006, Val has been kept busy answering the 24-hour help line after hours, advocating for women in need of legal and medical services, and, most recently, presenting Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children, a program that trains people how to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse.
Working with fellow presenter Linda Norris, Val has helped train about six different groups, including educators, college students and low-income women.
“It’s been very rewarding to start that conversation,” she says. “We have to get this out to the public and help them understand what’s really happening to our kids. We can’t bury our heads any longer.”
Val also feels good about helping women and families who often have no place else to turn. “They really have to start over, and they’re so scared,” she says of those who come to Victim Services. “With our support, they can overcome that fear and get their lives back on track.”
Rural Resources Victim Services still needs caring volunteers to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes. No experience or special talents are necessary, just a kind heart and willingness to donate your time. For more information, including the complete training schedule and how to apply, contact our Victim Services program at 509-684-3796.