Darla Daigle works at the Rape and Suicide Crisis Center of Southeast Texas. She has consoled sexual assault victims for years--and sees that some of them can feel powerless following a traumatic experience.
"All of those kinds of things are entrapments and those things reverberate in the community, it's not just the victim that is destroyed or damaged,” Daigle said.
Statistics show that 1 in 6 women and one in 71 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
According to the latest numbers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, counties in Southeast Texas show that reported sexual assault cases are increasing in some counties and decreasing elsewhere.
Orange County agencies reported 35 cases in 2013, 49 in 2014 and 69 in 2015. Hardin County agencies reported 37 cases in 2013, 42 in 2014 and 60 in 2015.
Jasper county showed a decrease across that time span. Jefferson County agencies reported 263 cases in 2013, 330 in 2014 and 284 in 2015.
Daigle feels it’s always important for more people to speak out on sexual assault.
"We need new voices, we need coaches to talk to young men about their attitude towards women, we need men to step up and talk to their sons, we just need it in the community because it really does affect everybody," Daigle said.
The first annual “Hands of Hope” event will include speeches from a human trafficking victim and Port Arthur mayor Derrick Freeman.
An artist will be creating a large sculptured hand for anyone to write their own message before the hand is burned at the end of the event.