RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Thursday's Recognition Lunch put on by the National Crime Victims Rights Week Event Team was all about recognizing the victims service providers that do the work of victim advocacy. These agencies consist of victim specialists from local law enforcement , the State's Attorney's Office of Victim Assistance, the WAVI - Domestic Violence shelter, and the Ellsworth Air Force Base Sexual Assault Response Center.
Among those individuals was one trooper herself, Jacquelyn Galles. She's been a survivor for 8 years now and has since been helping people by working in therapy and sharing her own experiences, something she says she wouldn't have been able to do without having people in her corner.
"The biggest thing it takes is support. There's no way to move from victim to survivor and be able to have a voice unless you have support backing you. Some victims need financial support, some victims need support just leaving the situation physically. Others need more of the mental and emotional support, the counseling, the people backing them telling them to believe in themselves," Galles said.
In addition to Galles's story and a touching poem, the program was concluded with a couple of awards highlighting individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in fulfilling the needs of local survivors including a legacy award in memoriam to South Dakota State Senator, former RCPD Police Chief Craig Tieszen.