I am responding to an article several weeks ago about SAFE. This is a most needed program in our county. For months up until January, I was a victim of a stalker-trespasser who left sexual letters and pornographic pictures at my home for months. Everyone became a suspect. When the case was solved, to my surprise it was someone I had known, or thought I knew, for years.
It’s often a surprise what you uncover about a neighbor, a friend or even a family member. Problems of violence, substance abuse, sexual assault and incest do not just go away — they repeat themselves through generations. This is a real problem in every community, and we still need — in our workplaces, schools and churches — to stop the denial and the enabling.
You might come from a proud family, yet substance abuse, sexual violence and incest comes in many forms, races and religion.
We can only hope for a better future, where no one is a victim and we don’t need programs like SAFE. Meantime I would like to thank [Commonwealth’s Attorney] Peter Luke and the law enforcement community, specifically Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Jenkins, Social Services, Paula Johnson and Brenda Vaness, who work with these difficult cases every day.