WPD establishing sexual assault support group
by The Press and Standard | May 10, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 9, 2018 at 10:00 am
Giving the victims of sexual assault a support tool is the purpose behind the Walterboro Police Department Victim Service Division’s decision to organize a Sexual Assault Support Group.
The department’s Victim’s Advocate Officer Denise Pinckney will head the support group with assistance from Hopeful Horizon.
“As the Walterboro Police Department Crime Victim Advocate it is my duty to not only ensure that I help crime victims of sexual assault navigate through the criminal justice system aspect of sexual assault cases but also to help the victim with the healing process,” Pinckney said.
Pinckney, who has worked with crime victims for the past 11 years, said she has noticed a great need for a support group in Walterboro. “A particularly successful method of working with survivors of sexual assault and trauma is by bringing survivors together in groups,” Pinckney said.
“Groups are an effective tool in providing support, validation, connection, healing, empathy, and giving hope. At the core of all sexual assault is disempowerment and disconnection,” she explained.
The support group will be able to assist in recovery, empowerment and connection.
“It is amazing to witness the transformation that many survivors make because of these groups,” Pinckney said.
“They realize they aren’t alone, because they realize that people care, because they learn that it wasn’t their fault, and yes, because through connection and validation there is hope.
“Often the relationships and sense of connection that members develop between each other may be some of the most positive and supportive relationships in their lives,” according to Pinckney.
Pinckney will not be taking this journey alone. She has enlisted the help of Hopeful Horizon. “To help me with this I have partnered up with Hopeful Horizons, which has a professional staff with years of knowledge, training and experience,” Pinckney said.
“Their team is highly trained in their specialties and has a national reputation for excellence in delivering evidence-based, victim-centered services.”
Hopeful Horizons is dedicated and committed to serving survivors of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault through treatment, support, education, awareness and prevention.
In order for the support group to become a success, it needs participants. Anyone who is interesting in attending the support group, which will be held once a month at the Walterboro Police Department, please contact Officer Denise Pinckney, Crime Victims Advocate, for more information at 843-782-1042.