When it comes to abuse, health officials are always stressing that there’s always a way out of a bad situation.
In collaboration with Sampson Regional Medical Center and U Care Incorporated, the Eastpointe organization is hosting a session titled “Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault: What You Need To Know.” The meeting is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Center for Health & Wellness classroom, 417 E. Johnson St., Clinton.
Courtney Boyette, community relations specialist for Eastpointe, said similar events are usually held at the beginning of the year.
“With the stress of the holidays and a new year, there may be some folks out there in a situation that can use some services,” Boyette said. “I thought it would be a good way to kind of kick off the new year.”
As part of a monthly community education series, a new topic is presented each month. The events are free and open to the general public. Elwood McPhail, community educator for U Care, Inc. will make a presentation about domestic violence and the services available.
“I wanted to make sure folks knew they were out there,” Boyette said about services such as a 24-hour crisis line.
Some of the other services available include treatment programs, emergency shelter and the Sexual Assault Response Team, which is designed to prevent sexual assaults in Sampson County by increasing awareness and protecting victims.
Eastpointe works with individuals, families, providers and communities through its behavioral healthcare system. Boyette mentioned how mental health assistance is a big part of helping victims.
“A lot of times people who have experienced domestic violence or abuse have trauma issues dealing with things they experienced,” Boyette said. “We always try to get them treatment.”
Boyette said the event is also a precede to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February, which is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs for prevention.
“I think it’s something that’s in every community,” Boyette said in regards to teen matters. “I think also with cyberbullying and social media, that’s always an issue. There’s things that our teens are facing today that maybe they didn’t have to 20 years ago. There’s more access to information, so I think it’s an issue for teens and adults.”
Throughout the year, Boyette said Eastpointe works to keep domestic violence and sexual assault issues on the forefront.
“You never know when someone may want to get out of their situation and reach out to get help,” Boyette said. “We want to make sure those resources are available to them.”
While working with mental health and substance abuse services several years ago, a lot of the women that they worked with had substance abuse issues associated with domestic violence or childhood abuse.
“I would say it’s pretty common,” Boyette said in regards to the number of cases Eastpointe handles.
For more information or to register for the upcoming event, contact Courtney Boyette at 1-800-913-6109 or by email at [email protected]
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.