In August 2001, a rapist slid his way into a Benbrook living room window and pressed his knife to a woman’s throat … and Heather Tatom thought she was going to die.
Tatom survived and is now using her experience to help other victims of sexual assault as an advocate for The Women’s Center of Tarrant County.
“As a survivor that benefited greatly from the volunteer that supported me at the hospital and the services of The Women’s Center, I can’t imagine not turning around to help the next survivor,” said Heather Tatom, victim advocate for The Women’s Center of Tarrant County. “I’m not going to sugar coat it – it can be dark and gut-wrenching. We are there for victims at their darkest time. I know personally how crucial this work is. It is hard, heavy work but so incredibly rewarding and needed.”
Hospital accompaniment by victim advocates is just one of many services of The Women’s Center made possible because of funds raised at the non-profit’s 24th annual Victory Over Violence 5K/1K Walk/Run. Because of the Stay at Home order from the City of Fort Worth, the Victory Over Violence Walk/Run has gone viral!
- When: Anytime between now and April 18, deadline to register is April 17
- Where: The place of your choice! You can walk or run through your neighborhood or on a treadmill at home. Be creative while practicing social distancing!
“Each year, we help more women, men and children overcome the trauma of violence through our Rape Crisis and Victim Services Program. Whether it’s providing counseling for survivors of sexual assault and child sexual abuse, legal assistance to victims or education to professionals and students in Tarrant County, we offer these services free of charge to the community. The funds raised at the Victory Over Violence Walk/Run are critical because they enable us to provide much needed service to both prevent violence and help survivors heal,” said Laura Hilgart, President/CEO.
Nearly one in three Texans will experience sexual assault in their lifetime, with women being twice as likely to be victimized as men.
More than 70% of survivors will know the perpetrator before the assault – they will be a friend, an acquaintance, a co-worker or even a family member.
Founded in 1979, The Women’s Center’s mission is to inspire and empower women, men and children to overcome violence, crisis and poverty. It is a place of hope, opportunity and better futures for families in Tarrant County. In 2019, 147,469 women, men and children were served by The Women’s Center.
2019 — BY THE NUMBERS
- 2,455 people called the Rape Crisis and Victim Service’s 24-hour hotline.
- 774 victims and their 564 significant others were counseled at local rape exam sites.
- 496 women and men received therapy to overcome the trauma of violence.
- 165 children and their 91 parents/guardians received therapy to overcome the trauma of abuse.
- 298 victims received legal assistance from the Center’s in-house attorney.
- 138,947 children participated in Play it Safe® sexual abuse prevention programs and 286 of those children disclosed current or past abuse to a Women’s Center trainer.
- 5,613 adults received sexual assault prevention training.
- 2,909 professionals were trained in issues regarding sexual assault and child abuse.