Turning Point Greensboro00000000

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the folks at Turning Point of West Alabama are using this month to expand into Greensboro.

Turning Point hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at their new location, giving residents in and around Greensboro a place to go for help if they find themselves a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

“They have a great need for this in the area,” said Greensboro Mayor Johnnie Washington. “We’re just glad to have it here in Greensboro.”

Assault Counselor Belinda Kock said the organization is a welcome place for women or men who think they may have been assaulted or abused.

“We’re here for free counseling,” she said. “That is the big thing here, being able to get clients in and be able to freely talk about sexual assault, and know that we are here to support them.”

Turning Points counselors said a recent study in the area shows an increase in sexual assault and domestic violence reports around West Alabama, and volunteers are hoping their new Greensboro office will help bring those numbers down.

“In our rural communities especially, the word is just not out,” Kock said. “Sexual assault there is still such a stigma about it, even though we’re in our day and age that we are. Being able to talk about it openly brings more awareness, and the more awareness we have, the less violence we’ll have.”

Including the Greensboro office, Turning Point provides help to residents in nine Alabama counties.

Turning Point Executive Director Belinda Jones said they’re trying to reach out to those in rural areas.

“Our main office is in Tuscaloosa, but the under-served population is out here in outlying counties,” she said. “So we want to be available to the clients here.”

If you find yourself needing counseling, Turning Point’s 24-hour hotline is 205-758-0808.

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