To say that sexual abuse has been a major subject in Pennsylvania in the past year would be an understatement.
The Penn State scandal has been at the root of the issue and that story continues to unfold.
But all across the state, and in Wayne County, sexual abuse happens each and every day.
That has put more and more pressure on programs across the state who deal with more victims every year but see their funding stay the same or drop.
The same is true locally, as well.
Because of that, the Victims Intervention Program of Wayne County (VIP) will be having a fundraising event this Friday.
"Live to Love ... Lives On" is a benefit dinner and dance to benefit everyone impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.
The event, hosted by VIP, will be at Ehrhardt's Waterfront Resort in Tafton. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with an appetizer/cocktail hour. Dinner, served family style, will be at 7 p.m. followed by dancing to the music of E.J. the D.J.
There will also be door prizes and a silent auction. Tickets are $50 each.
You can get tickets or find out more information by calling 253-4401.
Michele Minor-Wolf is the executive director of VIP and has been working for many years to aid victims and raise awareness about this community problem.
Following is a letter written by Wolf outlining why it is important to attend the dinner and support the program:
On behalf of Victims’ Intervention Program and the folks that we serve from Wayne and surrounding counties, thank you for your support of our Live to Love….Lives On dinner/dance event. We hope that you have a very enjoyable evening.
The mission statement of Victims’ Intervention Program is Educate~Empower~Envision. We work to educate the community on the issues of domestic and sexual violence, we empower victims to make the best choices for their individual situations and we invite the community to envision a world free from violence.
Victims’ Intervention Program is a non-profit agency that was established in 1988 to provide services to victims/survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Today we also provide services to victims of other serious crimes such as the victims of DUI crashes and the surviving family members of homicide victims. Last fiscal year Victims’ Intervention Program provided services to 869 individuals. Of those, 551 identified as victims of domestic violence, 226 as victims of sexual assault and 92 as victims of other crimes. Of the 869 total, 168 were children. Staff and volunteers answered over 3700 victim related calls — 2,599 of those were hotline calls.
Page 2 of 2 - Services include, but are not limited to, the following: 24-hour crisis hotline, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, counseling in the schools, counseling in the prison, counseling at locations convenient for the differently-abled, legal and medical advocacy and accompaniment, emergency shelter, emergency food, emergency transportation, information and referral, risk reduction programs and programs for the community. All services are confidential and provided at no cost to the victims and their significant others. Services are provided to women, men and children ages five and older.
Because we are a non-profit, we are funded by grants, donations and our fundraising efforts. All of the funds raised in an event such as this dinner/dance go directly into providing crisis services to the victims and their families in Wayne County. From the hearts of folks who have received our services, and those yet to come, thank you. Each and every one of you here tonight, as well as those who contributed in other ways, has touched a life and has made a difference. You may never meet the person you have helped but please know that there are happier, healthier and safer homes because of your support.