Vigil provides information to increase awareness of child sexual abuse

A crowd of about 100 gathered for the “Lest We Forget Candlelight Vigil” for child sexual abuse awareness and prevention held at Penn State York on Nov. 13. The fourth annual vigil was sponsored by the Penn State York Council on Family Relations (PSY-CFR) Club and the Student Veterans Association.

The program featured speaker Kristen Pfautz Woolley, a survivor of child sexual abuse, and the clinical director and founder of Turning Point Women’s Counseling and Advocacy Center in York, a place for healing from childhood sexual abuse. Woolley shared the story of Delores, who was abused from age 4-15 by her three older brothers. To escape abuse, Delores would hide behind a pink rosebush near her home. Delores found her voice at age 79 through counseling and work with Turning Point.  

A pink rosebush was presented to David W. Chown, chancellor of Penn State York, for the campus to plant in remembrance of child sexual abuse victims. Those in attendance also received a long stem rose with a flyer attached, providing statics on child sexual abuse. Local businesses donated flowers and printing costs:  Lincolnway Flower Shop & Gifts, Ream Printing, Royer’s Flowers & Gifts and Stauffers of Kissel Hill.

View more photos from the event.

The vigil ended with the candle lighting ceremony, the reading of a pledge to report child sexual abuse and a moment of silence. Participants in the vigil read the following pledge: 

“I believe that every child has a right to grow up free from the shadow of abuse. I believe that the responsibility to protect children rests solely in adult hands. I believe that, as adults, we must remain ever vigilant and dedicate no less than the best of ourselves to that purpose. To all the victims of abuse, male and female, adult and children, known and unknown: I pledge to educate myself about the realities of child abuse; I pledge to give a voice and report any and all suspicions; I pledge to cast a light in the darkness by doing the right thing the first time, every time.”

Last Updated November 21, 2014