Survivor Finds Will to Help Others Heal in Texas |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-09-24 22:52.
As a volunteer for Arlington police Victim Assistance Unit, Bergara accompanies staff members to crime scenes and supports victims. And because she's bilingual, she is often called to help translate for Spanish speakers.
Crisis response counselor Sarah Hickey remembered a call in which a toddler died. Bergara, the only Spanish speaker, translated for the family to the officers and provided grief counseling for the distraught mother.
"She has a very soothing, calming, and caring approach to assisting victims of violent crime," Hickey wrote in an e-mail to the Star-Telegram. "She was very focused on the family and genuinely concerned ... and I believe her motivation comes from her own experience."
Bergara's goal is to let victims know there is hope.
"It's not easy and it's not a quick process, but you can work through tragedies in your life," she said. "You can be a whole person again. You feel so fragile and so broken and shattered, but little by little you put those pieces back together."
Now close to retiring from AT&T, Bergara thinks more about helping crime victims full time. She doesn't know where she would work -- Arlington's victim assistance program requires a counselor to have a master's degree, and Bergara doesn't think that's a possibility for her. But there are other police departments in the area where she might find work.
Restorative Justice Planned in Japan - NPA Hopes Victim-Juvenile Offender Dialogue Will Cut Recidivism Rates |TODAY|
Community Action (87)
Crime Prevention (38)
Law Enforcement (56)
Offender Support (76)
Public Education (132)
Restorative Systems (93)
Victim Support (130)