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 one volunteer to the next.
Two years later, in 1978, Turning Point of Lehigh Valley became a reality. Since that time, more than 93,000 individuals have been served — women, men, children; the rich and poor; urban, rural and suburban dwellers. And still, domestic violence continues.
The statistics are heart wrenching. According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
• In the past 10 years, more than 1,600 people have died from domestic violence-related incidents in Pennsylvania.
• In 2017, 117 people were killed in Pennsylvania as a result of domestic violence.
• Among the 117 people killed, 60 percent of victims were killed by either a current or former intimate partner.
• Locally, four people died in Lehigh County and seven in Northampton County last year as a result of domestic violence.
This year, Turning Point of Lehigh Valley is celebrating its 40th anniversary — 40 Years of New Beginnings. As I begin my second term as president of the Board of Directors, I can’t help but ask, “Are we making a difference?” Are we moving closer to achieving our mission: “To eliminate domestic violence in the Lehigh Valley through empowerment, education and engagement?”
While one victim is one too many, the stories shared by courageous survivors at our anniversary celebration and at our annual Vigil make it clear that Turning Point is making a difference. Check out our video to hear the voices of just a few of the courageous survivors who have been helped by Turning Point.
Joan B. Marcus
President, Board of Directors
Turning Point of Lehigh Valley