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Community Services News

Where human needs and government intersect. The Division of Community Services promotes ongoing economic security and independence for the people of Shelby County. We do this by promoting, coordinating and delivering services that address the underlying conditions for well-being and justice. We strive to be a highly organized team and partner, dedicated to promoting a strong community where all people are able to reach their full potential.

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Nov 21

Violence Doesn't Stop After Business Hours. Neither Do We.

Posted on November 21, 2019 at 4:00 PM by Janet Lo

2019-11AllStaff040319

Crime Victims & Rape Crisis Center

Violence Doesn't Stop After Business Hours. Neither Do We.

The Shelby County Crime Victims & Rape Crisis Center (CVRCC) is proud to announce the expansion of business hours from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday. These extended hours allow us to be able to serve walk-in clients who may need help in filing an order of protection or preparing a victim’s compensation application.  Our trauma counselors are also available for scheduled appointments during those extended hours.  

THREE TRUE STORIES. Many people who previously found it challenging to use our services now have easier access. Here are three stories. 

"Bruce" had tried for several months to file an order of protection against a family member, but because of his work schedule and reliance on public transportation, he was never able to get to the CVRCC offices on time.  When the decision was made to extend the hours, one of the CVRCC victim advocates immediately called the client to let him know. Bruce came during our first week of extended hours and, not only was he able to complete the process, but the order of protection was granted.  Bruce reports that he would still be enduring the harassment from his family member if he had not been able to visit the CVRCC after hours.   

"Sally" had already obtained an ex-parte order of protection against her abusive partner, but she was extremely nervous about the upcoming court hearing where she would have to face her incarcerated abuser in the courtroom and prove her case in order to obtain a 1-year order.  Sally had never been to court before and felt very lost and confused about what to expect.  Luckily, she was able to stop by CVRCC after work one night to talk with a victim advocate about the court process and how to create a safety plan in case the order was not granted.  Sally reports that without this extra time and information, she might have been too afraid to show up in court.

"Steve and Simone", husband and wife, were in need of an order of protection against a neighbor who had been harassing them.  Simone was from another country and is not yet licensed to drive, so she depended on her husband for transportation.  Steve’s work schedule, however, prevented them from coming in during our previous business hours. Fortunately, Simone heard a radio interview announcing our extended hours and immediately told her husband. Both Steve and Simone were very appreciative not only for the extended hours, but for the pleasantness of the employees and process not being too difficult.

Even with the extended hours, CVRCC services have never been limited to business hours.  Since 1975, we have provided sexual assault forensic exams (commonly known as ‘rape kits’ but it’s so much more than that!) and accompanying victim advocacy 24/7/365.  For victims of sexual violence who aren’t quite sure whether they want to report a crime or seek services, they can always call our 24-hour sexual assault hotline (901-222-4350) to talk to someone.   

And on any given evening or weekend, CVRCC staff are out in the community, facilitating violence prevention trainings as well as offering education sessions to schools, churches, and other agencies in order to achieve the CVRCC vision:  

We envision a healthier, safer, and more well-informed Shelby County, where victims of crime are treated with dignity and respect as they heal from trauma and navigate the justice system, and community members are empowered to join together to reduce violence and its traumatic effects.