Who are they and what do they do?
Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S is a non-profit sexual assault advocacy organization based in Charleston South Carolina. They service Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties providing FREE victim advocacy, legal guidance, counseling, support groups, and 24/7 phone support.
Click here for more details: Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S.
The organization is made up of volunteers, social workers, and other professionals who have all either been affected or know someone who’s been affected by rape. The program assists people who either are in an emergency situation where they were recently assaulted or people who were assaulted any number of years ago. They are the only non-profit in the area (other then Military resources) that deal with adult sexual assault.
You are not a “Victim” you are a “Survivor”
The word survivor in the sense of assault victims simply means that you not only survived your assault but you’re also surviving the aftermath of the traumatic event. Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S is all about giving power back to the Survivor and letting them call the shots. You can decide how much Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S helps you, who your advocate is, weather or not you choose to repot to the police, (note: Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S will never push you to report or do anything for that matter. It’s all up to you!) Weather or not you want an exam done, etc.
When I worked as a bouncer downtown, I had a girl randomly start talking to me about how she was drugged by a local bartender and sexually assaulted. She then went on to tell me that she (right now) was high on cocaine. I’m willing to bet that her drug usage is a coping mechanism for what happened to her. I’ve met other men and women here who have shared similar stories. Stories like these break my heart, but what is really disturbing is how these people are blamed by society. I’m sure you’ve heard the questions. Well why was she wearing that? Why was she out at the bar? Why wasn’t she in the kitchen cooking and cleaning?
Instead of pointing fingers at the survivor let’s look at the perpetrator and figure out why he/she did what they did and provide education for people about consent to minimize the sexual assaults the occur in our area. On the other hand people need to be more careful and use common sense to minimize the possibility of being assaulted. The key here is education we all need to be educated on consent and safe practices.