More than 900 victims. To be exact, 921 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Harvey County — in one year.
"Our numbers are going up," said Heather Boswell of the Harvey County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Task Force and Harvey County Safe House.
At this moment, the Safe House is offering services to 130 families. Those services include immediate crisis intervention, protection from abuse, stalking orders, emergency shelter, court advocacy, medical advocacy, counseling and access to a 24-hour crisis line.
All services — and more including the expansion of the police responses advocate program — will be the topic of discussion at a town hall meeting on domestic and sexual violence in Harvey County from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Newton Commission Chambers, Newton City Hall, 201 E. Sixth.
State senators and representatives are on the invitation list — as is the general public.
"This is an opportunity to have a conversation with our representatives about what is going in this community," Boswell said. "… This is an opportunity to hear what we do and about the services we provide.
The Harvey County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Partners will speak — which includes representatives of law enforcement, the court system,and a bilingual advocate.
Topics will include a new initiative designed to better serve sexual violence victims that includes law enforcement and the medical community; and an update on the police response advocate program.
The police response advocate program provides volunteers that arrive at the scene of a disturbance. The program started as a pilot project in Newton, and this year was expanded to all of Harvey County.
Invited to attend and speak are Sen. Carolyn McGinn (R-Sedgwick), Rep. Don Schroeder (R-Hesston) and Rep. Marc Rhoads (R-Newton).
The town hall is sponsored by the Harvey County Safe House and Harvey County DV Coordinated Community Response Partners.