CVC 2015 Annual Report
2015 was a challenging year for Erie County non-profits! Despite the Pensylvania budget impasse that blocked funding, Crime Victim Center kept its doors open and its hotline active.
We are so lucky to work here in Erie–to be able to hold our Moonlight on the Bay gala at an amazing place like Presque Isle and to see the sights, both natural and manmade. The Tall Ships which visited this year–symbols of freedom, sea-trade, and commerce–remind us of the endless ingenuity of which people are capable. Unfortunately, at times that ingenuity is turned to harmful use. Make no mistake, our children are seen as commodities by some.
“You can only sell a drug once,” the perpetrators tell us, “but you can sell a child ten times a night.”
None of us want to think about the reality of what even one night is like for that child. When I hear kids walk past my office on their way to counseling, I find it incomprehensible that anyone could hurt them that way. Human trafficking is happening in Erie County right now. It is our job, our calling, and our duty to stop it–to stop those who seek to profit from the pain, the degradation, and the destruction of our children. They are NOT for sale.
We use the funds so generously provided by all of our sponsors and by our Moonlight participants to support the counseling and prevention education that we offer to children throughout Erie. Your support of our mission, your advocacy for those who most need our help, and your willingness to learn more about fighting those who seek to harm Erie’s children is vital.
You may ask, “How can I make a difference? This problem is too big for me.”
You ARE making a difference right here, and right now, by visiting this page.
We don’t tackle this problem as a mountain. We tackle it one small pebble at a time. We listen to one child and we believe one truth. We offer counseling. We offer compassion. We offer guidance. We walk with that child–with that family–through hospital rooms, through counseling, through forensic interviews, through trial preparation, through court, through sentencing, and through restitution and victims’ compensation. And then we do it again…and again…and again.
We climbed that mountain with 250 children in Erie last year. By supporting us, you are part of that journey, as well. You are helping to change the life of a child victimized by a crime most people don’t want to acknowledge.
All too often, child victims of sexual assault are invisible to us. When their pain is too much for us to face, we leave them to suffer alone. Without help; without counseling and compassion, prevention and acknowledgement; their lives can never heal. All too often, they go on to face addiction, more sexual violence, and even death as they are crushed beneath the mountain of pain that overcomes them.
We are here tonight and every day of the year to prevent that. We are here for counseling, for education, and for prevention. With your help and support, we are succeeding.
Our staff works round the clock every day of the year to cover the crisis hotline–available to counsel rape and crime victims whenever and where-ever they are needed. Your support through donations and events makes that possible. Our agency strives to be on the forefront in the way we serve victims of all crimes and with YOUR help, we can continue bringing peace to children hurt by crime.
Our promise to the victims of crime, no matter their age, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, class, culture, or creed is the same. We will not be silent, we will not allow you to suffer alone, and we will be with you as advocates, as counselors, and as educators. We will use every ounce of our ingenuity to help you journey from darkness and silence into light and hope.
Paul A. Lukach MSW, LSW
Click below to learn more about our work in 2015!