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Voice of Hope
This month we really want to highlight guitarist for Be: Ok and Through Life, Matt Duenes. Also known as a community relations coordinator at Voice Of Hope in Lubbock, Texas. Matt is a pretty incredible individual. Dad, husband, and guitarist by night and sexual abuse advocate by day. Duenes works for the second ever rape crisis center that was founded in 1975 in Texas. Voice of Hope advocates for victims of sexual assault and sex trafficking. This organization offers a wide range of services free to victims at any moment they’re needed.
“Unfortunately, sexual violence exists and it isn’t going away. In 2021, Voice of Hope had 298 clients of sexual assault and 58 clients of sex trafficking. It’s not like the movies with the creepy guy in the white van. We see it’s often someone we know, someone who made us feel safe. Of course, not every situation is the same, but no matter who it is, it is never okay for someone to take advantage of another person in any regard.” -Matt Duenes
Voice of Hope focuses on the importance of education and prevention and are always willing to go to any local organization to further spread awareness to youth in the community. Duenes has the blessful honor of spreading their [Voice of Hope’s] message to the community and raising awareness as much as he can. Getting to talk to students in high school and college about what they do and network with local businesses is a great addition to his role as the relations coordinator as well as fundraising and PR/ Marketing for the organization.
“In order to fix the issue of sexual violence, we have to change our thinking and the stigma behind rape culture. Consent isn’t an abstract concept up to interpretation. I believe we can work to stop first time perpetration by facilitating an understanding of healthy relationships and strong interpersonal skills with our youth. I believe we can challenge men and women to actively confront gender stereotypes and expectations in order to understand and respect one another. Until we reach that point where we have freedom from sexual violence, the biggest message I want to reiterate is that we are always here and there is always hope. Most people don’t know Voice of Hope exists until the moment we are needed, and even then, I still talk to people that say they wish they had heard of our services when it happened to them. Everyone’s healing journey is different. No matter what point on your healing journey you are on, we’re here to walk with you every step of the way.” -Matt Duenes
Voice of Hope is based out of Lubbock ,Texas and serves 21 surrounding counties all the way to Midland and Odessa, Texas.
They can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
(806) 763-7273 - VOH 24/7 Crisis Hotline
www.rainn.org (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, the naitions largest anti-sexual violence organization)
1-(800) 656- 4673 - RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-(888) 373-7888 - National Sex Trafficking Hotline