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In a Day’s Work: From the Mundane to the Mission

As the Executive Director, there are many parts of my job that are truly necessary yet pretty mundane. Today was one of those days when I needed to focus on things like compiling information for tax returns and reviewing reports. As I sat crunching numbers, I could hear two of our advocates on the phone from my office and it stopped me in my tracks. I became unexpectedly overwhelmed by the two conversations I could hear at once. It was two different callers, each calling us for the first time. I overheard questions about their children, reassurances about privacy of their information, and encouragement for one of them to seek medical treatment. They discussed safety plans and scheduled counseling appointments.

What I heard was not uncommon here at Turning Point. Each day we have seven new people reach out to us for support and assistance. I don’t know why the sounds of these calls stopped me today, but I began to cry at the sound of them. I’m not sure why. Maybe because one of the callers was from a town where I had lived. Maybe I was overwhelmed because hearing two calls at once reminds me of the sheer number of people who need our services. Maybe I’m sad because that after 41 years and thousands of programs, events, and advertisements, these two people may still not have known we were here for them until recently.

Each of us at Turning Point know that it is a privilege for a survivor of intimate abuse to come forward. One of the most long-lasting and insidious impacts of partner abuse is that it makes you question the motives of those you should trust. When someone you choose to love controls, manipulates, and violates you, it requires a huge leap of faith to again place your trust in others. I know those callers I overheard today made a conscious choice to trust us. This is always an honor and one that we don’t take lightly.

I am glad that occasionally, it still brings me to tears, as it drives my passion and commitment. I will do my part, both the mission-focused and the mundane, to be sure we are here and able to help when someone reaches out. I hope you will do what you can to help us in raising awareness and supporting our work.

In peace,
Lori Sywensky

But Is It Enough?

In 1976, a small group of women came together, determined to do something about domestic violence rather than just talk about it. This was the start of May Day Anonymous, the precursor to Turning Point of Lehigh Valley. These dedicated volunteers took turns answering calls from women trapped in domestic violence, passing the phone from… Continue Reading

My Confession to Other Parents & Caregivers

At the risk of slight embarrassment, I’ll share with you a personal memory.  When my oldest son was five days old and freshly home from the hospital, I held him and cried my eyes out as I thought of how one day, someone would want to date him.  While this was clearly not a pressing… Continue Reading

Safe House is More Than a Building

Over the first nine months of our program year, Turning Point has provided Safe House services to 108 adults and 113 children fleeing domestic violence. While most of these individuals and families stayed in our secure shelter building, many others stayed at alternate locations arranged by Turning Point. No matter the location, all receive the… Continue Reading

The Year in Review

If you see any of the same stuff as I do on social media, I’m sure you’ve come across posts lamenting 2016 as a terrible year.  To be sure, it was a year filled with tragedies and atrocities.  Fires, shootings, debates (and yes, even scary clowns) filled our collective consciousness and devastated families and communities.… Continue Reading

Let’s All Rise & Make Some Noise!

One of my favorite stories about the birth of the victims’ rights movement is how Anne Pride, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape in 1980, refused to produce a client’s counseling records during a rape trial.  There were no statutes protecting this information, but advocates assured everyone that they would do anything necessary to… Continue Reading

A message from our Executive Director

In 1995, some of you reading this may not have yet been born.  A gallon of gas cost just over $1; a stamp cost only $.32.  EBay and the DVD were brand new, and your cell phone (if you were lucky enough to have one) likely came in a large bag and charged you a… Continue Reading

Welcome to Turning Point. We are here for you.

We welcome you to our new website and hope you will find helpful information here and that you will share this resource with others who may need Turning Point’s assistance through our helpline, programs and services. With this site, we’re launching our new blog, “Allies for Hope.”  Here, each month, we’ll offer information and statistics,… Continue Reading

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