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WIN Victim Services: Empowerment, Healing, and Hope

WIN Victim Services, a non-profit organization, offers a multitude of services to help those in need of healing from sexual assault or domestic violence.

If you or a loved one needs immediate help, call the WIN (24 hour) crisis hotline right away at 717-264-4444 or 800-621-6660.

WIN Victim Services

WIN Victim Services, previously known as Women In Need, works with Franklin and Fulton County areas to help sexual assault and domestic violence victims. WIN is a private, non-profit organization offering services to all victims regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, or immigration status.

Stephanie Lehman, Community Relations Manager of WIN, shares, “Our agency operates on empowerment. This year, we are definitely trying to continue that vision and educate survivors while they help themselves.”

Each service provided by WIN Victim Services encourages empowerment and healing for victims. The mission of WIN is, “to help, educate, support, and empower victims of abuse,” by providing free services to anyone who may be struggling from sexual assault or domestic violence.

Services that are offered at WIN are as follows: a 24/7 crisis hotline, an emergency shelter for fleeing abuse within their home, individual counseling, support groups, legal advocacy, victim witnesses, transitional housing programs, and community education for the Franklin and Fulton County areas.

The Prevention Education Programs are age-appropriate programs conducted through the community and schools to help educate and make students aware of red flags in relationships, bullying, boundaries, who might be a safe adult to talk to, and so forth.

Ultimately, WIN Victim Services employees are there to listen, counsel, and educate survivors and the community to help prevent sexual assault and violence.

The services that are offered by WIN are not just limited to women or adults but are also offered to children or adults who may have experienced abuse or sexual harassment as a child. Truly, anyone can receive help, healing, and empowerment with WIN Victim Services.

As for future plans and hopes, WIN Victim Services hopes to eventually expand its services. Lehman shares, “Our shelter was full almost consistently for about a six month stretch (last summer into early winter). The clients were constantly changing, but the rooms were always full.” 

With each service offered, WIN would like to expand their ability to help those in need. Lehman emphasizes, “We would love to have more resources available for survivors and victims and less limitations.”

To support WIN Victim Services and their mission of helping sexual assault and domestic violence victims, visit their support page to donate. Volunteers are also a significant help for WIN Victim Services. If you or someone you know would be interested in serving with WIN, contact the office at 717-264-3056.

Upcoming Programs and Awareness Events 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month will be approaching quickly, and WIN Victim Services has every intention on bringing awareness, education, and empowerment to survivors, victims, and the community.

For the first time, the downtown Chambersburg fountain will be turning teal for the month of April to represent Sexual Assault Awareness month. WIN Victim Services will also be partnering with downtown Chambersburg to place teal ribbons on the parking meters.

Other events include partnering with Shippensburg University for their Take Back the Night event and Sexual Assault Panel. Other in-person and virtual events with details will be coming out shortly. Lehman encourages, “Details are not finalized yet, but the best place to know what we are doing is to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.”

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness

Recent statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) reflected that nationwide 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or assault during their lifetime.

In 2017, 40% of rapes and sexual assault were reported to the police, but in 2018 only 25% were reported. Sadly enough, survivors of sexual assault are beginning to feel afraid to share their stories and ask for help after experiencing sexual assault or harassment.

In another study conducted by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 37.1% of Pennsylvania women and 30.4% of Pennsylvania men specifically experienced intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes. Unfortunately, violence hotlines have received numerous calls.

“Locally and nationally, I think our law enforcement and judicial systems are working hard to see that perpetrators are brought to justice,” Lehman adds, “A large part of what we do is empowering victims in those processes so that they have some kind of resolution or healing that happens despite the outcome in court.”

With these statistics, nonprofits like WIN Victim Services intend to continue helping those needing healing and empowerment.

Lehman shares a final piece of empowering yet motivational advice, “For anyone who may be reading, gaslighting, name-calling, assault, and control do not belong in a loving relationship. If you think you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse, please call our 24-hour hotline at 717-264-4444 or 1-800-621-6660.”

To learn more about WIN Victim Services and their mission visit their main page at https://winservices.org/

Another significant resource within the Franklin and Fulton County areas is the Franklin and Ful-
ton Drug and Alcohol Program (FFDA). Administrator James Eagler and his team at the FFDA
work consistently to help those who are struggling with the disease of addiction.
The FFDA serves as a Single County Authority (or SCA) for the Franklin and Fulton Counties
receiving state and federal funds to be used towards administrative, treatment, and prevention.
The FFDA (or SCA) has three subdivisions: prevention/intervention, case management, and re-
covery support.
Numerous of these services are provided by the FFDA including Operation Save a Life and Case
Management programs. Operation Save a Life is a training program helping to understand what
an overdose looks like and how to respond to someone overdosing. Case Management programs
also exist and are for any Franklin and Fulton County residents that have substance use concerns.
The FFDA also works closely with Keystone Health, WellSpan, and other committees to help
bring awareness to drug overdose deaths, addiction, alcohol misuse, and more prevention pro-
grams for the area.
James Eagler shares, “We do our best to connect people with our resources and programs in
Franklin County. We are here for the county. If anyone may have questions, reach out to the de-
partment.”
More in-depth information will be provided about the FFDA (SCA) in a later article.
Franklin County Drug Overdose Task Force
The Franklin County Overdose Task Force is another resource within the local area. Formed in
2015, the task force was created to help address the opioid crisis.
Working closely with the FFDA, the overdose task force has successfully created more resources
and programs for the community to help prevent overdose deaths and stop drug addiction. Some
of these programs and resources include: the Good Wolf Treatment Court, Operation Save a Life
training, and the Get Back Up diversion program.
The Franklin County Overdose Task Force lists numerous potential recovery programs within
the Franklin County area. Treatment information is also listed on their website provided.
The Addiction Crisis
Franklin and Fulton Counties seek to always help individuals who are struggling with the disease
of addiction.

Recovery programs, housing, and other additional services have been prevalent throughout the
counties hoping to help decrease the number of lives lost.
A recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy showed that
overdose deaths have decreased since 2016 for the Franklin County area. 2016 showed that there
were 46 overdoses in the county. In 2020, it decreased to approximately 29 overdoses. The data
has not yet been updated for 2021-2023 for the local area.
Though this may be a decrease in numbers of overdoses, lives are still being lost from experienc-
ing the heavy weight and disease known as addiction.
Drug addiction is a grave issue within our culture and society. Being aware of the county’s drug
recovery needs can be beneficial for all who live in the Franklin and Fulton County areas. By one
program or resource at a time, we have the power and potential to help those who are struggling.
If you or someone you love needs access or help right away, call the crisis hotline at 717-264-
2555. The PA Department of Drug and Alcohol can help as well if you are experiencing a crisis.
Call 1-800-662-4357 for help

Comments

Pamela K Coyle 1949-2024

Pam received her Master’s degree in library science from Clarion University in 1978. She never lost her love of reading or her enthusiasm for libraries.

Daily Forecast, April 21, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting overcast clouds, with a high of 52.23°F and a low of 35.2°F. The humidity

Candie Sue Diffenderfer 1963-2024

Candie worked in the Prothonotary’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse, and later at Irving Accounting and U.S.A. Cartage in Williamsport, MD.

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