Hearts of Hope Center for Sexual Trauma believes and supports survivors of sexual assault. We believe that it is every adult’s responsibility to protect children. In the state of Louisiana, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor.
The Center, which serves Lafayette, Acadia, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermilion, Iberia, St. Landry, and Evangeline Parishes, wants residents to know that help is available.
"Perpetrators of sex crimes often use fragmented systems to gain access to victims and hide their predatory behavior. Perpetrators often gain access to the victim by isolating them from their parents or guardians and creating a perceived sense of dependence and safety," a release from the organization states.
"Gaining the trust of the community, as well as the victim, is an important part of the grooming process so that the perpetrator can engage in the abuse without detection. It is common that perpetrators become involved in the personal life of their victims, buying them gifts, sharing “secrets”, and sometimes providing access to drugs and alcohol. These sexual grooming techniques are used to confuse the victim, so that they often believe that this is a special relationship.
"It is important for parents, caregivers, community members, and organizations to understand the grooming process. It is every adult’s responsibility to keep kids safe," the release states.
Hearts of Hope Center for Sexual Trauma is committed to educating the community. They offer free trainings on Human Trafficking, Mandated Reporting, Normal Sexual Development, Online Safety, Safe and Unsafe Touches, and Good Secrets and Bad Secrets.
For more information, call 337-269-1557 or visit theheartsofhope.org.
To report suspected abuse please call 1-855-452-5437 or 911.
If you need guidance or assistance, Hearts of Hope Center for Sexual Trauma’s 24-Hour Crisis Line is available by calling 337-233-7273