Services for rape victims are now being offered by the YWCA of Van Wert County. On Friday, the YWCA housing staff and director and representatives from Crime Victim Services in Allen and Van Wert counties came together to celebrate their partnership and the hotline number for rape victims, (567) 259-9501. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
Services for rape victims are now being offered by the YWCA of Van Wert County. On Friday, the YWCA housing staff and director and representatives from Crime Victim Services in Allen and Van Wert counties came together to celebrate their partnership and the hotline number for rape victims, (567) 259-9501. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)

VAN WERT — The YWCA of Van Wert County has joined with Crime Victim Services in Allen and Van Wert counties to offer services to rape victims. The three agencies formed a partnership which began at the beginning of March.

“Back in April 2013, Crime Victims Services in Lima came to us with an expansion grant. They already do rape crisis services so they wanted to expand into Van Wert County and Hardin County. They chose the YWCA to provide the services in this county,” explained Jamie Evans, YWCA director of housing and domestic violence services.

The YWCA provides one phone number for both the rape crisis hotline and the domestic violence hotline — (567) 259-9501. Once a victim calls the numbers, then the advocate from the YWCA was arrange for proper services.

Evans continued, “One of my advocates will assess the situation as far as what service they need. If they need something that is for the court or legal, we would send them to Christina Eversole at Van Wert County Crime Victim Services. If they need therapy services, we would get them hooked up with Laurel Neufeld Weaver at Crime Victim Services in Lima. If they just need advocacy or someone to talk to who knows the services or to lend a shoulder or if they need shelter, we would do any of that here at the YWCA. We would provide that for them.”



All three parties were represented at Friday’s human trafficking workshop at the YWCA. More than 40 local officials, advocates, and workers were on hand to talk about the growing problem.

“They wanted to educate the community on this horrific thing that is going on in our county,” Evans said. “It’s happening in Van Wert, it’s happening in Lima, it’s happening in the surrounding areas. I don’t think it’s new, but we’re just recognizing it now. And the education is coming around.”