Del Mar offers aid to victims of crime

More than 15 community agencies gathered to shed light on those affected by crime and offer support to victims and their families on Wednesday in the Harvin Center.

The third annual Community Resource Fair, one of several events at Del Mar College during National Crime Victims Rights’ Week, emphasized the need for inclusion in victim services with its theme of “Expand the Circle, Reach all Victims.”

“Our mission is to lessen the trauma to children from abuse and neglect,” said Laura Alaniz of the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend, one of the agencies that participated in Wednesday’s event, which was a partnership between Del Mar’s Office of Student Engagement and Retention and the Coalition for Crime Victims’ Rights.

While working together with other public agencies, the Children’s Advocacy Center provides a variety of victim services to restore the lives of affected children and their non-offending family members. The CAC also conducts forensic interviews for Child Protective Service investigations.

“It’s important to encourage everybody to educate themselves about abuse and neglect to ensure that later on in the future when they are working with our children, no child is left in a situation of abuse,” Alaniz said.

Family Counseling Service also was at the event. Their division, Crime Victim Service, aims to help crime victims apply for the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, which provides financial assistance for crime-related expenses that cannot be reimbursed by insurance or other sources.

The agency also offers free counseling to people without insurance or who can’t afford their insurance co-pays.

Crime Victim Services will host a training session Friday, April 13, with guest speaker Carolina Sizemore from 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. in the Retama Room on East Campus. The presentation, “Modern Day Slavery: Identifying and Working with Victims of Human Trafficking,” will discuss victims of human trafficking and the correlation between pornography and sex trafficking.

Seating for the event is limited and a $10 registration fee it required to attend. Contact Diana Ortega-Feerick at dortega3@delmar.edu for more information.

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