On behalf of the Crime Victims Program, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to District Attorney Joe McBride for his thoughtful introductory remarks at our recent event, “Samantha’s Story,” at the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich. Mr. McBride’s comments demonstrated his strong awareness of the effects of violence in families, and the need to prevent further harm through intervention and education.
At our event, Joe pointed out that the “effects of violence last longer than the healing of bruises, the fixing of holes punched in the walls, and even jail sentences served ... [the] echoes of despair, depression, and isolation from domestic violence take much longer to fade ... which is why I am a firm believer in assuring that support for victis of these acts is available.” His honest and open remarks about family violence paid the highest tribute to our guest speaker, Samantha Wackford. Samantha was left blinded and scarred at the hands of an abusive partner, and her journey from despair to triumph over her victimization is remarkable and inspirational. I consider Samantha’s willingness to share her story a gift to us all, and Joe’s comments clearly show he understands its immeasurable value. Indeed, Mr. McBride said, “It gives me great pleasure to be here tonight to introduce Samantha. Her story is not only one of unspeakable violence and suffering at the hands of another, but also one of great courage and success. Samantha has chosen to share her story in hopes that we can all better understand what victims go through and why support, understanding, and advocacy is needed to help them along their journey towards healing.”
I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. McBride over the past several years in service of victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and other crimes. He has been a strong partner in our Child Advocacy Center, which works to protect families from violence and abuse. He has handled sensitive cases involving sexual assault with the utmost care and concern for the victims we serve. I want to express my gratitude for Mr. McBride for his support and commitment to protecting families in Chenango County, and for helping to make our event a success.
Director, Crime Victims Program
Catholic Charities of Chenango County