The challenges that all of us are facing currently have caused everyone to reassess their personal situations for living. The days of just going about your own business and ignoring the craziness of the rest of the world are no longer possible. Many of our neighbors have had to refrain from going out at all. Some have needed additional support, services, and medical care. Due to all of this, we thought it would be important for everyone to also realize that the number of people in need, seeking help, etc. has ballooned significantly. Hand Up Network continues to be on the front line trying to help across a variety of areas and we thought we would give you a quick understanding of our work.
This team of highly qualified Advocates is dealing with some very horrific crime victims right here in East Texas. Our Victim Services Team is called to the scene of many of these crimes and is there to support the Victims. Our objective is be there to support the Victim and let the Law Enforcement, Medical Team, and Judicial Process perform their roles. Too often we have seen Victims drop through the cracks as the journey is long and will take years to go through the court system. In the mean time, our Victim Services Team helps to stabilize the Victim and begin the journey to restoration of the life the deserve. This is not a quick process and thus the Victim needs our team to provide the options available so they can make a decision on what course is best for them to take.
A list of some of the crimes our victims have had committed against them:
Sexual Assault / Domestic Abuse
We are seeing the numbers of sexual assault cases growing during the pandemic. These assaults are not gender exclusive as we have seen both male and female victims. It’s a horrible crime and takes an entire community to address the various challenges that are being faced. Hand Up Network is honored to be a Founding Member of the Smith County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and we host the meeting at our headquarters every month.
Many may or may not be aware that Interstate 20 is considered a major thoroughfare for Human Trafficking in the United States. Some of the Victims are from Texas, others come from all over the country/world and have no one to help them. It a big issue in the USA and unfortunately, right here in East Texas.
A horrific crime in its own right, but the impact spreads across all that are impacted by the loss of life. Many that are faced to deal with this have no idea where to turn, what services are available, etc. The Hand Up Network Victim Services Team provides the support and guidance to help to stabilize the situation and get all victims the help they need.
The Senior Citizens of East Texas are a target for people that seek to do them harm. We are seeing more online victimization, but there are many cases of physical abuse being done against our elderly community. How do you address it? Where can we turn for help? Our Victim Services Team helps to provide options and guidance for the support services available in Texas.
The feeling of your home being violated is very difficult to handle. The loss of your once perceived “safe place” can lead to some very difficult emotions and can impact your ability to cope. It’s important to have someone that can provide stability during chaos and help to begin to re-establish the security you need.
Some may be surprised to learn that there has been a significant increase in people being stalked in East Texas. Some are due to past relationships, while others may be coming from people you don’t even know. Regardless, its become a big problem that our Team seeks to help address through restraining orders, legal actions, etc. to help our Victims live a life away from being afraid of who is around the corner.
Family Violence / Suicide
Being cooped up due to the pandemic can cause family situations to become volatile. Some response through violence to their own family, while others keep it internal. Unfortunately, we are seeing a rapid increase in suicide attempts. Suicide is a multi-victim tragedy. No one should ever get to a point where they want to take their own life, but if they do, they leave behind a family that loved them and is now left to try and comprehend what has happened to their loved one.
If you or someone you know is dealing with these types of issues, Hand Up Network has a team at the ready to provide support. Our Hotline is 903-533-9721 or you can e-mail Assist@HandUpNetwork.com
HAND UP NETWORK™ is a 501c3 non-profit based in Tyler, TX that has assembled an international team of leaders with decades of experience with a desire to come back home and bring focus to those in need in local communities. The Network offers long-term programs to people seeking a new season in life and response teams designed to address community issues and emergency response. The Network provides intentional volunteer opportunities for people wanting to provide support within their programs and opportunities to engage via Response Teams. The Hand Up Network was awarded the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency and a National Top-Rated Nonprofit for 2020! This is the highest level of achievement possible.