Our hearts sank.

The news broke about a mass shooting at a rural Texas church. As media outlets published story after story in the days and weeks that followed the shooting, we knew the pattern all too well.

Verbal threats. Intimidation. Animal cruelty. Hostile text messages. Physical violence. The reports stated that the assailant kicked and choked his ex-wife and hit her son so hard that it fractured his skull. She lived in “constant fear.”

At the same time, we read about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Roy Moore, Al Franken, John Conyers, and the list continues to grow.

Our hearts sank further. Why? Because whether the harassment and violence happens when a victim goes to bed at night or to work in the morning, the impact is devastating and the effect is wide ranging.

We see it every day. The middle-aged woman who knocked on our door at 2 a.m., in her bathrobe. The young woman on the phone who didn’t know who else to call. The teenage boy with bruises all over his body. The faraway look in the eyes of children, that gives us only a glimpse of the darkness they have experienced.

Turning Point began in 1977 when a group of women in Marion, Ohio formed an organization called “Concerned Citizens Against Violence Against Women.” They opened a battered women’s shelter in 1979 before Ohio had laws about such violence. Turning Point is the oldest rural domestic violence shelter in Ohio and is poised to open its second shelter in Delaware, the largest county in the state without a domestic violence shelter. There are 69 shelters and/or programs that serve Ohio’s 88 counties. We accept calls 24 hours a day at 800-232-6505.

We are expanding because of the demand, yet we hope to be out of business someday soon.

We implore community and business leaders, together with journalists, to bring more stories to light because until we fully address the threats and violence that permeate our culture, we will continue to read headlines that tell an all-too-familiar story, and our hearts will continue to sink.

Paula Roller,

Turning Point Executive Director