Help Us Meet the Basic Needs of Survivors of Violence
Salem Lutheran Church is a designated drop-off site for a Basic Needs Drive hosted by the Washburn County Coordinated Community Response Team (CCR). Throughout the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, donated items that include Ladies’ Sports Bras, Socks, Underwear, Deodorant, Tampons and Maxi Pads, are being collected. These items are often needed by victims of domestic violence – they are all essential needs of many survivors who are left without them when they leave an abusive relationship. You can donate these newly purchased, unopened items and drop them off in Pastor Sue’s office at Salem Lutheran Church.
Pastor Sue has been a member of the CCR and “Embrace” teams for several years. As a partner in this effort, she has completed two intensive educational training sessions — one for several days in Chicago – and meets regularly with other team members from the county medical, police, and social services communities.
Last April, the people of Salem Lutheran Church hosted a special event that addressed child safety as part of Child Abuse Awareness Month. On Sunday, April 7, from 10:30-12:30 p.m. in the Salem Fellowship Hall, we teamed up with “Embrace” of Washburn County to present an awareness program entitled “Darkness to Light.”
The program is an evidence-based prevention training that teaches people how to prevent, recognize and react to child sexual abuse. The “Darkness to Light” organization is based in Charleston, South Carolina, and focuses on five steps to protecting children:
Learn the Facts – in over 90% of the child sexual abuse cases reported, the child knows the perpetrator. Statistics show that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday
Minimize the Opportunity – more than 80% of child sexual abuse incidents occur when children are in isolated, one-on-one situations with adults or other youths
Talk about it – Open conversations with children about body safety, sex, and boundaries is one of the best defenses against child sexual abuse
Recognize the Signs – The most common symptoms of child sexual abuse are emotional or behavioral changes
React Responsibly – Intervening when boundaries are crossed or reporting abuse when suspected is critical to protecting all children from sexual abuse
Although teaching children about their bodies and boundaries is important, protecting children is an adult responsibility. The “Embrace” presentation at Salem included a video that featured survivors who lived through child sexual abuse and experienced its immediate and long-term effects. They were eventually able to find healing.
The people of Salem Lutheran also hosted a learning event for our confirmation students and their parents, also led by our county “Embrace” staff. Pastor Sue has also toured a “Time-Out Family Abuse Shelter” in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. The shelter houses Washburn County family members as well as people from other communities. A facility Crisis Line is open 24 hours a day at 1-800-924-0556.
For more information about our Basic Needs of Survivors of Violence efforts in October, call Pastor Sue at 1-612-229-8885.