Although this is Liz Toporas’ first year at YWCA Northeast Indiana, it’s not her first time helping survivors. Empowering others to heal from trauma has been a passion of Liz's for a long time. Using her knowledge and years of experience in the field; Liz Toporas, LMFT, works vigorously to show her clients that the healing process and life after trauma is possible.
As an outpatient therapist at YWCA, Liz focuses her work around supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence who are ready to heal. For many survivors, sharing their story can bring back emotions and feelings of hurt that make it difficult to speak up and talk about their trauma. Additionally, feelings of blame and guilt can happen to a survivor if they don’t believe their story will be heard.
Statistics from RAINN reported that less than one third of rape incidents are reported to the police. Of the incidents that are reported, only five percent of perpetrators are arrested and only one percent of rapes and attempted rapes end with a felony conviction for the perpetrator. One of the main reasons why individuals don’t report assault or violence is the fear that others won’t believe their story.
All of these factors can make it very challenging for individuals affected by sexual assault and domestic violence to heal and move past their trauma. However, Liz knows that it is possible for survivors to alleviate the pain they feel. She has seen this transformation happen before and is often the person who helps survivors find their hope: giving them the tools they need to overcome their trauma.
For Liz, working with survivors isn’t only about healing from assault and violence. She also advocates for positive change in the legal system to assist survivors and prevent them from being victimized. Liz believes that a survivor-focused system would encourage more individuals to have a voice and share their story.
Liz sees it as an honor to walk alongside survivors in their journey of healing from sexual assault and domestic violence. Her clients and their stories are an inspiration to her daily work as she advocates for change and empowers individuals to find hope and healing.
1. RAINN (2017). Department of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey.