Through her work as a Victim Advocate with The Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention in Hattiesburg and Laurel, Mississippi, Teressa Ellzey has seen firsthand how important having a voice is in the road to recovery. She supports victims through all phases of recovery, including hospital visits and navigating the court system. "I am a victim's advocate first and foremost," she says. "I am a voice not only for The Shafer Center, but for victims that can't or are not willing to speak out about sexual assault."
Teressa has seen how crucial it is that victims have a voice in our system. "When the victim has a voice in the legal process, it helps them not only with closure, but to put into perspective what has happened. When the victim can speak up during this very hard and traumatic process, it gives them back a little bit of themselves. It helps them regain some control."
"I am hoping that through Marsy's Law, the public will be better educated on victims' rights and that the courts are made to enforce these rights. I have met so many victims that do not even know that they have rights. Most victims don't understand what the proceedings of the courts are and do not understand the wording used in the courts."
Learn more about The Shafer Center for Crisis Prevention here