As a part of your new website, PARC will be sharing updates regularly through our news and events page. This exciting development allows us to take a moment to reintroduce each of you to who we are and what we do.
Since 1994, the West Georgia Prevention & Advocacy Resource Center, Inc. (PARC) has existed to serve our community by providing resources to individuals impacted by sexual assault. We offer advocacy services that assist individuals who have been directly affected by sexual violence as well as their friends and families. PARC also provides several educational programs focused on the prevention of sexual assault. The program focuses on meeting the needs of schools, youth-serving organization, and the community as a whole. We believe that increasing awareness about risk-factors and the issue, in general, is key to preventing sexual violence in our community.
Advocacy is helping clients identify the challenges they are facing and explore ways to work to address those issues. It includes not only supporting them but recommending a course of action on their behalf. PARC advocates are specially trained to provide individuals who have been impacted by sexual assault with resources and information that can assist them through a difficult time. Advocacy services include a 24-hour hotline, medical accompaniments, in-house counseling, counseling and medical referrals, as well as various other services. All services are trauma-informed, victim-centered, are always free, and client confidentiality is critical to our staff and volunteers. Because we believe that our clients know what is best for their own lives, we strive to ensure they have access to information that can help them make the right decisions for themselves.
While advocacy is an incredibly crucial part of our program, we also believe it is essential to provide prevention education programs that help us better understand ourselves, our needs, and ways that we can protect ourselves and each other. Prevention is assisting people in understanding the importance of healthy relationships, consent, and bystander intervention. These conversations can help them to take control of their lives and empower them to stand up for themselves and others when something is not right. Even though having these conversations does not correct all of the underlying problems related to sexual assault, we believe education can help to create a safer culture and community for all.
Not everyone is ready to talk about their experiences related to sexual assault, and that is okay! You can still advocate for them and help to reduce the stigma associated with sexual assault by using your voice. By talking about the importance of consent, boundaries, and respect, we can create a safer and healthier community for everyone, and especially those who have been impacted by sexual assault.