Advocates help crime victims
In the Tri-Cities, victims of crimes are becoming more aware of their Crime Victim Rights and are reaching out for services from the Support, Advocacy and Resource Center (SARC). In the last fiscal year, the number of victims we work with has increased. It is important to remember that if you have ever been a victim of a crime, you do have RCW’s that outline your rights as a victim of a crime (RCW 7.69.030; RCW 70.125). Among these rights, you have the right to have an advocate or other support person present with you during any legal or medical proceedings.
As advocates, one of our duties is to make sure that all victims are aware of their rights and that their rights are upheld. Advocacy for victims and survivors is not a clear-cut process and has many dimensions but is always focused on helping the individual through their healing process. Examples of what advocacy include but is not limited to: providing crisis intervention, connecting you to a counselor, explaining the legal process and helping you navigate the legal system.
If you are interested in working with an advocate, give us a call at 509-374-5391.
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Maricela Garcia, Richland
School is too long
I think school is too long. I want school to be one hour less. In the morning I don’t have enough time for anything, and school is too long to wait for school to be over. School is way too long.
Coolidge Grigg, Kennewick
Time to halt taxes on Social Security
The best thing that politicians can do for us senior citizens is to make Social Security retirement benefits non-taxable. This will produce a trickle-down in reverse effect. We’ll go out and spend our extra cash buying stuff for our grandkids from those corporations that are getting all the tax breaks right now. I call it trickle-up! Toy stores, farmers and poker rooms will be the primary beneficiaries. Let’s go viral with this, as the kids say. I can’t understand why this hasn’t been done before now. It makes perfect sense and is completely nonpartisan. Seniors can’t sit back and let the world run us over. Watch for more communiques from the New Gray Panther [NGP] party.
Eric Nordlof, Kennewick
Syringe exchange programs work
In 2018, more than 22,000 Benton-Franklin counties residents had an opioid prescription. Predictably, some of these patients will eventually become addicted, even to heroin. Around 80 percent of those using heroin first misused prescription drugs. We are not immune from this epidemic, and the local personal stories of tragedy and loss are devastating.
Tackling this will be complicated and involve many organizations. It must also include syringe exchange programs (SEPs). Simply put, SEPs work. People who participate in SEPs are 5 times more likely to enter drug treatment and 3.5 times more likely to cease injecting compared to non-participants. Of note, an SEP has been successfully operating in Walla Walla since 1998.
But they are not without controversy. The SEP program now planned for Kennewick has generated fear among some local residents. Feeling fear is normal, but sometimes our response to fear is irrational.
Stigmatizing those affected, rushing to judgment before a program is implemented, and ignoring or misrepresenting the current evidence won’t solve this problem. First and foremost, we must identify what has been shown to work to curb this crisis and then focus our efforts in a joint response. And the science is clear: Syringe Exchange Programs work.
Wesley Luckey, Kennewick