Honoring Diversity in the Safe House

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in VCC'S Community Corner | Comments Off

Mountain Crisis Services received a hotline call from Merced area asking to assist a victim of Sexual Assault.  A MCS advocate met a VCC advocate and the client half way and transported her to our Safe House in Mariposa.  This client arrived here in crisis.  She had been sexual assaulted by a stranger.

She was referred to us through a Merced Wellness Center.  When our client arrived and was filling out our paperwork she identified herself as a transgender female.  Her ethnicity was stated as Irish and Spanish.

She was welcomed into our Safe House and as advocates we were able to familiarize our client with the resources that we could offer her in Mariposa.  She came with minimal belongings and got to utilize our Safe House resources such as clothing and basic necessities.  If she needed to have an advocate to accompany her, we were available to assist.  She rested for 2 – 3 days before she wanted to even go outside.

Having been a survivor of emotional, physical and sexual violence we encouraged her to access our SA Peer counselor and to get assistance from Social Services for benefits. With her past ordeal, her wallet was stolen and her first personal need was to get her California ID Card.  She was able to attend our art program A Window Between Worlds (art therapy), as well as weekly discussion groups with the house residents.

 

Before coming to Mariposa, She was homeless for 8 months and had just had a break up with her boyfriend.  She wanted to remain in Mariposa and after staying for a month with us she left the Safe house.  There were challenges because Mariposa is so small the community members do not share a great deal of acceptance with our transgendered community.  There were difficulties and our client did end up leaving Mariposa.  When she exited our Safe House the one thing she did say is “I have so much appreciation for the experience and mostly that you accepted me for who I am.”