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.