Advocacy In Action

January 2024 Newsletter

News and Updates from Turning Point of Lehigh Valley

Staying Safe: Understanding and Preventing Stalking

January is Stalking Awareness Month, a time to shed light on a concerning issue that affects many survivors. Stalking is a behavior that can make individuals feel scared, anxious, and unsafe. It's important for everyone to be aware of the dangers of stalking and learn how to protect themselves. In this article, we will discuss what stalking is, its potential dangers, and some safety tips to help you stay safe.

Stalking is when someone repeatedly watches, follows, or harasses another person, making them feel uncomfortable or scared. Stalkers can use various methods, such as sending unwanted messages, tracking someone's online activities, or even showing up at their home or school without permission. It's crucial to recognize these behaviors and take them seriously.

Stalking can have serious consequences for the person being targeted. It can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, and a sense of helplessness. In some cases, stalking can escalate to more dangerous situations, putting the victim's safety at risk. It's important to understand the potential dangers to encourage early intervention and prevent harm.

Safety Tips

Trust your Instincts: If you feel uneasy or scared, trust your instincts. Don't ignore your feelings, and share your concerns with someone you trust, like a friend, family member, or teacher.

Be mindful online: Be cautious about sharing personal information online. Adjust your privacy settings on social media platforms and only accept friend requests or messages from people you know.

Secure Your Devices: Use strong and unique passwords for your devices and online accounts. Keep your phone, computer, and other devices secure to prevent unauthorized access.

Stay aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings when you're out and about. If you notice someone consistently appearing where you are, inform a trusted individual immediately.

Report suspicious behavior: If you believe you are being stalked, report it to the authorities, such as the school resource officer, local police, or a teacher. They can provide guidance and take appropriate action to ensure your safety.

Seek Support: Don't face the situation alone.

Documentation: Create a log of any texts, calls, or suspicious activity that may be occurring.

Stalking is a serious issue that requires awareness and action. By understanding what stalking is and following these safety tips, you can help protect yourself and others. Remember, your safety is a priority, and there are people and resources available to support you. If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking, don't hesitate to seek help. You can reach our 24- Hour Helpline at 610-437-3369.

2023: A Year of New Beginnings

This past year, our growing team of housing advocates worked tirelessly to help domestic abuse survivors find a safe and secure place to live. At Turning Point, we know that unless survivors can find affordable and safe housing, they are more likely to return to their abusers or end up homeless.

The financial challenges facing survivors are significant, and in as the cost of rentals skyrocket, the barriers increase. As a result, the average time a family spent in shelter trying to rebuild their lives increased to 77 days in 2022. With families staying longer, we often needed to rely on hotels to help offer a safe space. We recognize that while this is necessary, it is not financially sustainable, with monthly hotel costs per family often exceeding monthly rent costs. Last year alone hotel costs were a staggering $282,000.

Through the help of PCADV, we have grown our newest service, New Beginnings, significantly over the past two years. With their help, we receive federal HUD funds that allow our Housing Advocates to work closely with survivors to understand their unique needs and circumstances.

Through their hard work and dedication, the housing advocates were able to provide survivors with a new sense of hope and a fresh start. In 2023 thirty-seven families were able to move into their own apartments, free from the fear and violence of their past. They were able to rebuild their lives, find employment, and create a sense of stability for themselves and their families. We are grateful to the compassion and dedication of our Safe House Advocates & Housing Advocates for helping survivors most in need achieve what may have seemed impossible!

Additional Resources

What a Wonderful Year!

Following our Holiday Luncheon, our Advocates quickly turned into elves, creating a holiday gift shop for our Safe House residents so they could provide plenty of cheer to their children, thanks to our generous community!

Welcome to Our Newest Board Member!

We are happy to introduce Turning Point's newest board member, Sylvia Doyle. Sylvia has volunteered with Turning Point in the past and is looking forward to returning to the agency to help serve our clients. Sylvia is currently a Donor Relations and Special Events Director with DeSales University. This experience, coupled with her background in crisis intervention, trauma and counseling will make her a valuable addition to the Turning Point Board of Directors.

"I am passionate about serving Turning Point because the agency provides critical services to our community. The staff assists people in making life-alerting changes and rebuilding their lives. I am committed to supporting their important work."  -Sylvia Doyle

Welcome Sylvia!

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444 E. Susquehanna Street, Allentown, PA 18103 • (610) 797-0530

24/7 Helpline (610) 437-3369

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Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, charitable organization as defined under the Internal Revenue Service code section 501c(3). Tax exemption entity ID 23-2100651. Please consult with your professional tax advisor as to what deduction may be available to you. The official registration and financial information of Turning Point may be obtained from the PA Department of State by calling toll-free within Pennsylvania 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.