Peasley: Turning Point offers 'a place to call, a place to go'

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One of the bright moments as we enter the New Year is the serious attention given to help both adults and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Jane Farmer, executive director of Turning Point, McHenry County’s only domestic violence agency, says that many victims are harassed and verbally abused and that domestic violence also includes abuse of the elderly.

Turning Point was founded in 1981. Today, it has a staff of 34 – 28 of which are full time.

Farmer said Turning Point had 1,820 clients since a year ago; this includes 220 children.

Farmer, who joined the Turning Point staff in 1992, said, “Turning Point is doing something positive regarding abuse. It’s a place to call, a place to go, because we have rooms available to provide shelter when needed.”

She said care frequently begins at a hospital emergency room.

With the facility on Route 14 between Woodstock and Crystal Lake, Turning Point has facilities for 21 women and children who can stay 35 to 60 days during which time any crisis is stabilized.

Four Turning Point advocates staff the Turning Point office at the courthouse to obtain orders of protection for victims.

Farmer said the crisis line is staffed 24 hours a day. Phone staffers receive 40 hours of training before manning the crisis line.

During the past year, the crisis phone line had more than 5,380 phone calls from people needing assistance.

Turning Point helps victims build a résumé, job possibilities and interviewing skills. Support is given to victims to make healthy decisions and work with the children if they have witnessed violence.

Farmer has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Illinois in Champaign, where she grew up.

• • •

Turning Point’s Board of Directors is hosting a wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at 31 North Banquets, 217 N. Front St. (Route 31) in McHenry. Attendees will enjoy a variety of wines as well as hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $20. For information, call 815-338-8081.

• • •

The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce is planning its annual dinner Feb. 21 at Woodstock Public House.

The Chamber recognizes community leaders by naming the recipient of the Harold Buschkopf Award.

Buschkopf, who was a prominent businessman and community leader, was owner of Buschkopf Pharmacy on the Square, for many years. The award was established in 1995 soon after he died.

Shari Gray, executive director, said nomination deadline for the Buschkopf Award is Jan. 31. Nominees are community members who have served the community for several years and have the ability to encourage citizens to become involved in events improving living in Woodstock. Other awards will include Retailer of the Year, Professional Service Provider of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Industry of the Year.

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. He can be reached at 815-338-1533.

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