YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – If you find yourself driving along East Market Street, chances are you’ll see wooden people cutouts.
Silently standing tall, they have a lot to say.
“There’s been a lot of cars that have stopped right over here and say, ‘what is this about, what is this about’,” Jillian Tolman, a music therapist at Turning Point Women’s Counseling and Advocacy Center, said.
The answer; women’s advocacy.
“It takes a lot of courage to walk through the door and say, ‘I was sexually abused’,” Kristen Pfautz Woolley, clinical director and founder of Turning Point, said.
The organization helps women and teenage girls who have been sexually abused. The CDC says one out of every four girls will be sexually violated before her 18th birthday. The teal cutouts representing “her.”
“I think people don’t think about it, and people don’t want to talk about it,” Amber Wagman, another therapist, said.
“Her” story might be different than “her” story. Or even “hers.”
“When you’re violated at that moment you feel like your childhood has died. You really feel like you’re displaced. You don’t understand what happened to you. You’re suppose to be a kid and all of a sudden this adult act happened to your body,” Woolley said.
Each story is unique. But their endings can have something in common.
“We hope that they will eventually walk out of here feeling whole, and beautiful and leave their shame at our doorstep and place it back at the perpetrator where it rightfully belongs,” Woolley said.
That’s where you come in.
“We’re hoping that as people drive by, it’s kind of right in their face and starting that conversation,” Wagman said.
About what’s okay. And what’s not. Because prevention starts with education.
“A child that is aware of their body and is aware of the safe touch rule, is less likely to be abused,” Wagman said.
Turning Point also said one in six men are sexually abused before they turn 18. If you or someone you know needs help visit Turning Point’s website.