A place to listen

Sage Orozco is a legal advocate and volunteer for Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (ATVP) because they wanted to help people.

“I can’t just stand by and do nothing — I can’t be part of the problem, so for me it’s very much personal and I have to do something to help people, because I can’t stand by and watch people suffer,” Orozco said.

Amy Volz, coordinator of domestic violence services, said ATVP’s purpose is to provide options and give support to anyone who asks for it.

“We provide services that are free and confidential for victims or survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence,” Volz said.

Those services include support groups, a 24/7 hotline, an advocate to help people through medical and legal processes, Volz said.

“The main thing I think is they are all provided under this empowerment model, so there is nothing prescriptive about the services we provide and it’s totally voluntary essentially,” Volz said.

Orozco said as legal advocates they help victims or survivors of domestic violence legally terminate their leases if they need to move. They also provide support if those in need require someone to help them decide what other papers and legal documents they may need to aide their situation.

Survivors can use the shelters upon request, as ATVP does not discriminate based on age or gender, Orozco said.

“So even if you’re a dad with children, we’ll work with you — just call the hotline,” Orozco said.

ATVP staff and volunteers can also do presentations to the community, where they work with existing programs such as green dot, bystander training and presentations on healthy relationships and setting boundaries Volz said.

Volz said the staff has partnered directly with local schools from the elementary level to the high school level in order to follow through on their mission of providing resources to the community and prevent violence.

Volz said ATVP started in the ‘80s with a staff of volunteers and still serves both Latah and Whitman Counties.

“It started out solely as volunteers providing services to people dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault,” Volz said.

There are offices in both Pullman and Moscow, in addition to offices on university campuses, Volz said.

Volz said ATVP is mostly funded through grants, which means the money ATVP receives is often given to them with specific purposes for which it can be spent.

Volz said donations are used to help buy gas cards for survivors to get to support groups, formula for those who use the safe houses and go to a variety of other funds which benefit survivors.

ATVP hotline: (208)883-4357.

Kali Nelson can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @KaliNelson6.


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