Every 2 minutes in the United States someone is sexually assaulted. In West Virginia alone, 1 in 6 adult women and 1 in 21 men will be the victim of an attempted or a completed forcible rape. Those statics are staggering. Groups across our region have been created to reduce these numbers and to help those that are a part of them to begin the recovery process. One of those amazing organizations is Hope, Inc. A Task Force on Domestic Violence.
Hope, Inc. is based in Clarksburg but serves a number of counties, including Harrison, Doddridge, Marion, Gilmer, and Lewis. As a non-profit agency, they offer shelter and confidential support services to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. More specifically, they make up part of the rapid response team when a victim reports a sexual assault. They also offer services such as a 24-hour hotline and professional counseling to support victims and their families. For victims in unsafe situations, they also offer shelter services in a safe and supportive environment.
Charlotte Milbert has volunteered at Hope, Inc. since 2013. She is an active participant in the Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program. Her role in the program is multi-faceted in responding directly to sexual assault victims and their families to working on programs that raise awareness of sexual assault and methods of prevention.
"For this particular program, volunteers are vitally important. They help with a variety of tasks which, in the end, allows us to have more one-on-one time with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Survivors are often ones who want to give back by volunteering with us," stated Jackie Ritter, Outreach Coordinator for Hope, Inc.
Hope, Inc. works hand in hand with local medical providers, law enforcement, and other agencies to continually offer their support to victims. In addition to their sexual assault response system, Hope, Inc. also has an extensive program that assists those that are affected by domestic violence.
"Sexual assault, along with domestic violence has always been prevalent in our communities, however with recent national spotlights on the issues, it is important to see the support systems such as the one Hope, Inc. provides within our community," stated Marisa Matyola of WBOY. "It takes a special person to volunteer for programs such as this, and Charlotte is a very special person for doing so."
"Recognizing volunteers in our community for their amazing work is only a first step in raising awareness of the issues that they face every day. Hope, Inc. and their volunteers provide necessary services to help prevent, treat and assist in the recovery of sexual assault and domestic violence," said Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group. "The task they face can be overwhelming at times, but their steadfast approach to providing services to victims in need truly reflect the perseverance they have to address these issues in our community."
“I believe in giving back to the community. This is not an easy volunteer position, but it is extremely important to our community,” expressed Charlotte.
To learn more about Hope, Inc.’s services or to donate your time or funds, contact Hope, Inc. at (304)624-9835. If you are in need of any of the services they provide, you can also reach out to that number for Harrison County. If you are in Lewis County the number is (304)269-8233, Gilmer County (304)462-5352 and Doddridge County at (304)873-1416.
The Celebrating Volunteers awardees receive public recognition for not only themselves but their organization. They also receive a $500 contribution to the organization they represent in their name. Gretchen Ross of WBOY TV and Tim Miley of The Miley Legal Group work together to select the awardees from the many nominations received from the public. The chosen volunteer will have demonstrated their commitment to an organization through volunteerism and support.
“I am an avid supporter of volunteerism in our communities," Miley stated. "The Celebrating Volunteers program is a way that we can recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals across our region.”
We look forward to recognizing some worthy individuals while giving their organizations a part of the spotlight. The program will continue accepting volunteers throughout the coming year. To nominate a volunteer to receive this award, please visit MileyLegal.com and click on the Celebrating Volunteers logo.