Texas Border Business
EDINBURG – The third Operation Safe Talk hotline event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24. It will be hosted by Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. and the Domestic Violence Unit, in collaboration with Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra, the Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force, and Women Together/Mujeres Unidas.
The Operation Safe Talk hotline will be housed at the Entravision Communications Corp. McAllen studios and broadcast on Univision Noticias, Channel 48. Anyone who needs assistance or has questions in English or Spanish can call (956) 661-6000 between 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and from 8:30 p.m. to 10:35 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Assistant District Attorneys, Victim Advocates, Immigration and Family Law Attorneys, Law Enforcement Officers, and Crime Victim Liaisons will be available to answer questions dealing with family violence.
“Once again our deputies will be on hand to speak with victims and answer any questions they may have regarding their situation,” said Guerra. “We are ready to provide assistance and resources.”
Rodriguez will kick-off the phone bank with a live interview at 5 p.m. on Ch. 48 and Guerra will be interviewed live on air at 9 p.m. on Ch. 2. Then, at 10 p.m., there will be a 30 minute special featuring Rodriguez, a representative from the Sheriff’s Office, Cecilia Moya of Mujeres Unidas, and a survivor in a roundtable discussion.
“Our goal with this special is to show those victims watching that help is just a phone call away. They just need to pick up the phone and call us,” said Rodriguez. “They will be able to hear directly from a survivor about the steps she took to get assistance and see that the journey to healing is possible. They are not alone.”
Women Together/Mujeres Unidas Executive Director Estella De Anda said they were able to help dozens of victims as a result of the first Operation Safe Talk.
“Our volunteers with Women Together/Mujeres Unidas were able to reach so many Domestic Violence and/or Sexual Assault victims during the last two phone banks,” said Estella De Anda. “We want to remind the public that Mujeres Unidas provides free and confidential services to victims and survivors. Anyone needing services can call our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-580-4879.”
From January of 2017 through September of 2019, the District Attorney’s Office Victims Unit has assisted 6,439 domestic violence victims and the DA’s Civil Division has issued protective orders for 1,701 victims. In addition, 3,676 victims received information on safety planning, including where they can go to seek safety and protection.
In addition, the Domestic Violence Unit staff reviewed a total of 7,247 domestic violence cases and the Civil Division has assisted 4,134 victims with legal advocacy services to obtain a protective order or an emergency protective order.