Two years ago, alumna Crystal Wilkins ’04 embarked on a new journey as a sexual assault victim’s advocate at Lynchburg General Hospital’s Sexual Assault Response Program through the local YWCA.
Wilkins earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ferrum College in 2004 and went on to receive a Master of English from UNC-Greensboro. Now, she works as a lead claims representative at Genworth Financial Services in long-term care claims, which she described as “a really wordy way to say I handle escalations.”
But her real passion was ignited during a conversation with her cousin, who is a lawyer in the district attorney’s office in Chesterfield, VA. Her cousin said she would make a good victim’s advocate, so Wilkins began looking into volunteer programs. During a Get Downtown festival hosted by her hometown of Lynchburg, she explored a victim’s advocacy program through the YWCA and Lynchburg General Hospital, and discovered a true need that she knew she could fill. Now, Wilkins receives calls from the hospital to support sexual assault victims through the forensic nurse process. “[I] offer a distraction or a hand to hold, whatever it is they might need,” she said. “I love it so much.”