Rachel Farrow, Educator at Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley, spoke to the Emmaus Rotary at our regular Thursday morning breakfast meeting on September 27, 2018. She was knowledgeable and spoke with passion. Farrow outlined the progressive stages used by perpetrators of domestic violence: 1) "Love Bombing", 2) "Egg Shells", 3) "Explosion", and 4) "It will never happen again". This cycle can repeat 7 to 12 times before the survivor, re-programmed by a narcissistic abuser who isolates while destroying the survivor's self-esteem, begins planning to leave. Farrow noted that this is the most dangerous time for the victim. Last year, 117 people were killed in PA by abusers (12 in Lehigh County alone) who declared "if I can't have you, no one will."  Because survivors are most at risk when trying to leave, Turning Point staffs a 24-hour hotline and has partnered with local law enforcement and the medical system to build a safety net. Turning Point's motto is "You are not alone." 
  Farrow called DV an epidemic as it effects 25% of the population: women, children, and men. She said, "silence allows this to continue."  And urged Rotarians to listen when terrified individuals speak up because 97% of them are telling the truth.  Farrow took several questions and responded to a parent's concern for educating children by saying, "they are always watching so demonstrate healthy love-- kiss your spouse in front of them."
     Last year's Newcomers' Project was both to collect needed items for Turning Points like sets of sheets and to do some painting and repair work at the shelter. Let's be proud of this partnership. Turning Point is the only domestic violence organization in the state with a shelter.