United Way Agency Helps Abuse Victim

Editor’s Note: The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is conducting its 2012-13 Campaign, with a goal of $777,777. Examples of how United Way campaign dollars assist area residents are featured below.

“Sally,” a 54-year-old woman with developmental disabilities, began reacting negatively to “Paul,” one of her daily caregivers. She would become very agitated when he arrived at her home for his shift. When another of her caregivers noticed her strong reaction, Sally revealed that Paul had hurt her. The caregivers found several large bruised areas on Sally’s body.

Adult Protective Services contacted Harmony House for a forensic interview to give Sally the best opportunity possible to tell if something was being done to her. APS also contacted law enforcement.

Sally’s guardian brought her to the Harmony House center. Once again, Sally became very upset when she mentioned Paul – and she told the interviewer that Paul hurts her. Sally pointed to her arms, face, stomach and legs as the targets for Paul’s hands and feet.

Harmony House arranged for Sally to be examined at the Ohio Valley Medical Center-EMSTAR. She and her guardian were accompanied to the emergency room by a Harmony House Child and Family Advocate. There, medical staff found that Sally had not only multiple bruises, but also a broken wrist.

Paul was criminally charged. He entered a plea to avoid a trial.

Harmony House arranged for Sally to receive ongoing trauma-focused therapy. She is beginning to trust again. Her caregivers report she is less anxious and is again able to joke and laugh with them.

Thanks, in part, to funding from the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, Harmony House is able to provide its services at no charge.

The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley helps 30 area agencies provide services for local residents of all ages.

To make a donation or for information about organizing a workplace campaign, contact the United Way at 51 11th St., Wheeling, WV 26003 or call 304-232-4625.