Ligeia DeVleming, MSW; Director of Victim Advocacy & Education at LCS Northwest, No Phone Number Available
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
As Spokane’s only Community Sexual Assault Program, LCS Northwest’s team of Washington State Certified Sexual Assault and Crime Victim Advocates are humbled and privileged to walk alongside survivors of sexual violence and their support people during one of the worst moments of their lives. Whether we interact with a survivor on our 24/7/365 sexual violence support line, or at the hospital during a forensic sexual assault exam, or at an interview with a detective, or at court during a civil protection order hearing, or at a criminal trial, or out in the community at various outreach locations, we stand by survivors.
During the month of April, LCS Victim Advocates and the Spokane Community stood with survivors of sexual violence in recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Our community raised awareness by hosting various educational and awareness events such as recognizing Start By Believing Day for the second year in Spokane hosted at Spokane Community College and at Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop; “Painting the Town Teal” by lighting up the Steam Stacks teal; Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop’s downtown location created and sold teal ribbon cookies with proceeds benefiting LCS all month long; Ben & Jerry’s Spokane hosted a Benefit Night for LCS; colleges and universities hosted moving screenings, panel discussions, and trainings; and more.
Not only throughout the month of April but all year long, LCS Victim Advocates ask the Spokane Community to recognize the importance and tremendous value in believing survivors of sexual violence. The Start by Believing Campaign created and initiated by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) speaks to the far reaching impact our reaction has when a survivor of sexual violence discloses their story to us. A negative reaction can increase the impacts of trauma for survivor and also decrease the likelihood of them reporting to law enforcement.
However, there are simple and yet very impactful things you can say when someone discloses to you such as:
If you have questions about your options or would like support, please call or text 509.624.7273 24/7/365 to speak with one of LCS Northwest’s WA State Certified Sexual Assault and Crime Victim Advocates. We are here to listen, believe, and advocate for your right to choose your next steps. You can also interact with the survivor centered platform Seek Then Speak to help you gather information, make decisions, and take action. Follow LCS’ Courthouse Facility Dog, Walker, on Facebook and Instagram.