“It's all so confusing, this brutal abusing
They blacken your eyes, and then apologize
You're daddy's good girl, and don't tell mommy a thing
Be a good little boy, and you'll get a new toy
Tell grandma you fell off the swing
Hell Is For Children
And you know that their little lives can become such a mess
Hell Is For Children
And you shouldn't have to pay for your love with your bones and your flesh”
Pat Benetar, Hell is for Children
The lyrics to this song speak volumes.
It’s about child abuse. It could also be about abuse in general.
And these things happen right here in Wayne County. On today’s front page are two stories about abuse, one a first-hand witness to abuse and the other about a local organization which can help.
The Victims’ Intervention Program (VIP) in Wayne County handle hundreds and hundreds of abuse cases each year.
Sometimes, many of us don’t want to think about abuse. Many would rather not hear about this very difficult subject.
Yet without hearing about it, we fail to understand the gravity of the situation and the permanent harm it can cause. It’s a very important subject and one which needs to be discussed honestly and openly.
When you look into the eyes of Michele Minor Wolf, executive director of VIP, you can see the pain she has witnessed. You know how difficult it must be to talk with a small child who has been the victim of sexual abuse. That child is scarred for life.
Yet you can also see joy in Wolf’s eyes. When she sees someone who has overcome the circumstance of abuse and is now doing well, that’s rewarding.
Most of us can only imagine what it might be like to try and deal with such victimization in our society. It’s beyond the realm of reality for many people.
However, you can also look at some raw statistics and know that abuse is around all of us.
For example, one in four women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime. That’s 25 percent of all women in America.
That is staggering.
It is also a fact that one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys will be a victim of sexual violence before they reach the age of 18. Sixty-seven percent of sexual assault victims are under 18.
That means the chances are very high you know a victim of abuse. You probably know someone who has abused another human being.
These are facts, not just some random numbers tossed out to scare society. People are being abused and it continues to happen each day.
Another very important factor when it comes to the VIP program is it needs monetary donations. It’s not easy for a group to ask for funds, but if there is any group in the county which deserves funding, it is VIP. These people are trying to literally save souls — can there be a higher calling?
In times of tight budgets, it’s always difficult for groups like this to grow and help even more people. Yet the number of victims continues to grow each year, even though the funding remains level. If you can find it in your heart, reach out and help out this very worthy program. Donations can be sent to Victims’ Intervention Program, P.O. Box 986, Honesdale, PA 18431.
It will help a victim — and that can only be positive.