Editorial: Community loss impacts hundreds

Aug. 08, 2013 @ 08:31 PM

When the Area Christians Together in Service board decided Heart’s Haven would be closing, rest assured there were plenty of wet eyes.

And we mean coming, not past tense.

While the board of directors agonized, it was only because the next victim of domestic violence who is looking for help is going to be missing a vital part of our community. We sympathize with the board’s decision, and more emphatically, we grieve that lack of an outlet for the next victim.

Four months ago a vigil and walk at the ACTS house on Chestnut Street brought awareness. It was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and even our president was telling us how laws enable safety and justice for victims, that our culture was changing from keeping violence hidden to empowering survivors to speak out and get help.

That’s still possible in Henderson, but it’s going to be tougher.

Pardon our heavy sigh. We have frustration. We want answers. We want help.

Domestic violence comes in all forms, from arguments between a parent and child to actual physical abuse from one adult to another, that which is often thought of when the words are mentioned. Henderson police say domestic violence is one of the most dangerous situations police encounter due to the unknowns.

Last year, the Vance County Department of Social Services didn’t receiving funding for domestic violence as it had in years past. This year Heart’s Haven closes.

The victims will keep coming, probably at a rate of one or more a day.

So what happens? What can Henderson and Vance County do?

The leadership at ACTS has assured victims will not be turned away. Heart’s Haven may be gone, but strong hearts will do all they can to help victims gain safety, to get pointed in the right direction.

Our area churches are built on faith, and where there is a mind for missions, there will be a resource for the victims of domestic violence. We believe open doors are plentiful.

And there is Lifeline Outreach, a women’s shelter on Raleigh Road here in Henderson.

Sadly, domestic violence won’t rest.

Neither should we in our quest to find a way to fill this hole in our community’s fabric.