A new call center, safe house to open to combat bullying

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 7:16pm

A new resource for victims of cyber bullying will be available for El Pasoans.
A 24 hour hotline and a safe house to combat bullying will be open on Friday at the Goodwill Industries of El Paso’s offices at 9611 Acer.

The call center and safe house was merely an idea three months ago, but is becoming a reality thanks to El Paso Stop Cyber Bullying and Goodwill Industries of El Paso.

"Kids, teens and even adults are being bullied. They need an outlet, and they don't have that. They usually isolate themselves; have no one to talk to. And I believe this is what they need," said Melinda Chavira, assistant director of El Paso Stop Cyber Bullying.

Bullying is a topic that hits close to home for Chavira. Her son was bullied and her 14-year-old cousin ended her own life as a result of bullying a well.

"Cyber bullying, verbal bullying, words. They scar your heart,” Chavira said.

Now, she's trying to turn her experience into action.

The safe house will be setup like a lounge, with couches and TVs.
Goodwill is also working with UTEP to provide counseling for those who come to the safe house.
Though there are other hotlines, Goodwill Vice President said this one will provide help to callers, without referring them to other numbers.

"When a person calls us and has a need, that we can stay of the phone with that person while making that contact on the computer to the place that it needs to go to so that we're not having to give them another phone number for them to call. We’re going to take care of it all in that one phone call," Huerta said.

Construction of the call center and safe house started about a week ago and will be complete by the end of this week.
If you would like to be a volunteer, contact Melinda Chavira at 915-203-1765 or visit the Goodwill office at 9611 Acer Avenue.


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