NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County commissioners will consider reapplying for a grant that would provide a victim assistance coordinator for the county.
The grant, called the Victim Coordinator and Liaison Grant, has been provided to Nacogdoches County through the Texas Attorney General’s Office. The purpose of the position is to “to promote and educate the community and other professionals about victim rights and services in an effort to identify crime victims and provide or refer them to needed services," according to the attorney general’s office.
Holly George, the current victim assistance coordinator in Nacogdoches County, spoke before the county commissioners Thursday morning in support of renewing the grant.
“I went in to explain to the commissioners exactly what we do here in our office and the Nacogdoches County [District] Attorney’s Office, and how the grant helps so many victims of Nacogdoches County,” George explained.
George explained to commissioners that she helped victims of various crimes -- victims of theft, DWI cases -- but one thing she focused on was handling cases with assault and family violence in the home.
Between Sept. 2018 and April 2019, around 150 of assault/family violence have been reported and sent to her office; that doesn’t include the cases reported to the district attorney’s office as felony cases.
“We have a lot of cases of assault/family violence. Our office also does a lot of protective orders for assault/family violence, stalking” George said. “I wanted the commissioners court to understand exactly the different roles our office plays, and how important each victim is to our office.”
More than the cases themselves, George said the most important aspect to remember was that victims are people, and a role like hers is important to stand beside them in troubling times.
“There are organizations out there to help you,” George said. “We want you to report. We understand there’s a fear to report, but we need to take the stigma that reporting, and that if you’re a victim of assault/family violence, that you should be embarrassed. It’s not your embarrassment, it’s not your shame to hold.”
Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court will next meet on Wednesday, Sept. 4.