Center wants to help survivors, victims find peace

ATVP provides number of valuable resources to anyone in need

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

In 1980, survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse finally received a resource center that didn’t require driving several hours to find help.

Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse provides those who’ve been impacted by violence or assault with a confidential resource to help them cope with their experience.

Sexual assault advocate Vanessa Corwin believes ATVP is an important resource on the Palouse because of the comfort they can provide to those impacted.

“We provide emotional and logistical support to people affected by sexual assault,” Corwin said. “We help them understand the best route to take for their healing process in a confidential way, and no obligation to report to the police.”

ATVP is spearheading violence prevention on the Palouse, Corwin said. According to the ATVP website, this portion of the organization focuses on “increasing understanding, awareness, and ultimately on preventing family and sexual violence.”

Corwin explained how understanding positive, healthy relationships is necessary to successful development, and how this can be difficult to find while still in school.

“Prevention education touches on important conversations not offered in a classroom setting,” Corwin said. “Students have to go to the media and their peers if their parents don’t offer this information.”

Going away to college can leave students without support systems they had throughout high school, such as family and friends. Facing assault or violence can be incredibly isolating without these support systems, Corwin said. Peers may not be able to offer healthy, unbiased advice in controversial situations.

“We provide information and support regardless of what the person has been through and how they’ve reacted,” Corwin said. “We won’t discriminate if the person decides to stay with a violent individual in the way friends or family members might.”

ATVP provides 24-hour emergency and support services to anyone in need of them, such as people who have experienced violence or assault directly or family members concerned about someone, according to the website.

ATVP helps community members understand the systems they may need to go through when faced with assault or violence, such as the legal or medical system, which can be incredibly intimidating, Corwin said.

“We coordinate with those who respond to gender-based violence or sexual assault, like doctors and the police,” Corwin said. “We work together to find the best ways to prevent violence and assault.”

ATVP has satellite locations on both the WSU and UI campuses, as well as offices in both Pullman and Moscow at easier access for community members.

“A lot of this information doesn’t sink in until you really need it,” Corwin said. “Having offices available to college campuses helps provide a confidential, nonjudgmental resource of information and support after [experiencing] domestic violence or sexual assault.”

ATVP can be contacted through 1-509-332-HELP (4357). Its public office is located at 115 NW State St, Room 305.