The third Young Hearts Matter Teen Dating Violence Operation Safe Talk hotline is tomorrow, Feb. 27. Assistant district attorneys, victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and crime victim liaisons will be available to answer questions dealing with family violence.
Anyone who needs assistance or has questions in English or Spanish can call 956-661-6000 from 4-6:30 p.m. and from 8:30-10:35 p.m. Deputies trained in domestic violence will be available to answer questions, said Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra. Mujeres Unidas will also be on hand, offering free and confidential services to victims and survivors.
“During our last two phone banks our staff was able to assist dozens of teens and their parents,” said Rodriguez. “We answered their questions and addressed their concerns about what teen dating violence is and how to safely put a stop to it.”
Rodriguez will kick-off the phone bank with a live interview at 5 p.m. on Channel 48. An interview with Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Frank Medrano then takes place live on air at 9 p.m. on Channel 2. Then, at 10 p.m., there will be a 30-minute special featuring Rodriguez, Weslaco Police Chief Joel Rivera, a representative from the Texas Council on Family Violence and two survivors in a roundtable discussion.
Housing the Operation Safe Talk hotline is Entravision Communications Corp. in McAllen, It will broadcast on Univision Noticias, Channel 48. Hosting the event are Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. and the Domestic Violence Unit. Collaborators are Guerra, the Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force and Women Together/Mujeres Unidas.
Those needing assistance at any time do not have to call only during Operation Safe Talk.
“Anyone needing services can also call our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-580-4879,” said Mujeres Unidas Executive Director Estella De Anda.