Medina Journal-Register — The Pullman Memorial Universalist Church in Albion presented its 2013 Humanitarian Award to Planned Parenthood of Albion on Sunday. The award was in recognition of the organization providing rape crisis services to Orleans and surrounding counties for 40 years.
Jeff Pier, regional manager, and Christi Waldron, Orleans County rape crisis counselor, accepted the honor. In his address to the congregation, Pier described how the organization grew in 1973 from a small group of seven women in the community advocating for rape crisis services to become the largest rape crisis service provider in New York.
Currently, the organization offers no-cost personal support and advocacy for survivors and significant others of sexual assault and violence, including men and children. Staff members and trained volunteer counselors at Planned Parenthood’s rape crisis center in Albion provide for sexual assault victims’ medical needs, psychological support, and police and legal intervention.
In addition to the plaque, a special collection was taken during the offering time and presented as a gift to help financially support the work of the rape crisis organization.
Pastor Lee Richards said, “I am so very proud of this congregation to step up and publicly honor and support this important effort which fills a need that so often goes unrecognized. Most people don’t want to believe that rape or sexual abuse is a problem but statistics such as one in three women and one in six males will be victims of this type of violence fly in the face of such denial.”
The church’s chairperson, Gay Smith, presented the award and she pointed out how often people who work for, or volunteer to assist, Planned Parenthood have come under attack. One parishioner of the church also gave testimony about her own personal experience of using the rape crisis service and the benefits she received from doing so.
The Rape Crisis hotline for Orleans, Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties is 1-800-527-1757. More information about the organization may be obtained from its webiste at www.pprsr.org/rapecrisis.