New Castle News

Local News

November 7, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: Crisis Shelter uses art to shine light on domestic violence

NEW CASTLE — With each passing year, the light of domestic violence awareness shines more brightly.

The Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County aims to keep it that way. Speaking at Monday night’s Paint for Peace rally, survivor Vanessa Taylor told of what can happen when education is absent.

Taylor, a former North Carolina resident, shared that in the late 1980s, after spending nine-and-a-half years in an abusive relationship, she told the father of her two children she wanted out.

Although she described him as “very controlling, very possessive,” and always having to know her whereabouts and telling her how to dress, Taylor said her one-time partner moved out and seemed to “move on about his business.”

“But this was back in the 1980s, and you didn’t see and hear as much as you do now about domestic violence,” she said. “The teaching wasn’t there. I was being stalked by him and I didn’t know it.”

One night, she returned home after an evening out and heard a knock at her door at 4 a.m. As she went downstairs to answer the door, a window was broken and the man with whom she had spent nearly a decade burst in and beat her with a baseball bat. She sustained head injuries, two broken arms, a broken leg, a broken ankle, crushed ribs and a punctured liver.

“I was beaten so severely by that bat that I ended up in a wheelchair,” Taylor said. “Doctors told me that I probably would never walk again, and if I did, it would be with a limp.

“But today, I stand before you, not as a victim, but as a  victorious woman — a survivor. And I love to stand before people to tell them, if you’re in this situation, you can get out. And if you have been in that situation, and it feels like a big weight upon you, you can lift that weight, you can overcome and you can live again — because I have.”

Sue Deck, interim director of the Crisis Shelter, noted that “more than one in three women and more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and or/stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”

“That is why an event like Paint for Peace is so important in our community,” she said of the annual event that invites the public to create and submit works of art addressing domestic violence. “This gathering shows victims of domestic violence that they are not alone.

“It reminds us that together, we can shine a light of hope through expressive and inspiring artwork, like what surrounds us this evening.”

The night featured 57 works of art  submitted by the community. Ten finalists were selected from the student artwork division, and five each from the community and group artwork categories. Those attending Monday’s rally voted to select the top three in each category.

“Climbing Up Through” by Mykenzie Davey captured first place in the student division. Leslie Michael’s “Handle With Care” was tops in the community category, while “Breaking the Chains of Abuse” by Ashley Falba and Anastasia Truby finished No. 1 in the group competition.

Local businesses also were invited to create window displays, photos of which were posted on the shelter’s website for online voting. Community Alternatives Inc. won a close battle with the Children’s Advocacy Center, garnering 737 votes to the runner-up’s 689.

Winning works will be displayed publicly in the community throughout November and will be featured in the 2014 Paint for Peace campaign.



Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • HIShands.jpg Local youths team up with His Hands Ministries to do home repair for those who can’t afford it

    Area youth from various Lawrence County churches started lending a helping hand Wednesday to residents in need. The annual Lawrence County Youth Ministries service event brings together students and adults for three days of volunteering. It is part of His Hands Ministries, an initiative involving local churches and volunteers who split into work groups to perform  home improvement tasks for elderly and low-income homeowners in the community.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blight.jpg Funds would target Lower East Side demolition

    The Lawrence County planning department and New Castle officials are partnering to wipe out neighborhood blight. They plan to start with the city’s Lower East Side.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • movietheater.jpg Overcoming addiction theme of movie

    The movie, “Anonymous People” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. July 30 at Westgate Cinemas.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • BalloonQuest.jpg Balloon Quest ready to soar again this weekend

    The Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest will mark its 25th anniversary this weekend at Union Township’s Scotland Meadows Park.


    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boatlaunch.jpg County pursuing funds for more boat launches

    Lawrence County planners are pursuing funds to complete more boat launches. At their meeting last week, the county commissioners agreed to apply for $74,000 from the Commonwealth Finance Authority, through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, for the matching funds.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Road.jpg FirstEnergy announces transmission line project

    FirstEnergy Corp. has announced plans to replace 9.6 miles of overhead electrical transmission line in Lawrence and Mahoning counties.


    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg County seeks safety money for courthouse

    The Lawrence County commissioners are applying for a grant to help enhance safety at the government center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners to meet in New Wilmington

    The Lawrence County commissioners have changed the time and place of their Aug. 29 meeting.

    July 22, 2014

  • money.jpg Treasurer reports tax collection amounts

    The Lawrence County treasurer’s office reported that it has collected $19,606,313 in 2014 county property taxes to date.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasmine.tiff Dog Park dedication memorializes Jasmine

    The memory of Jasmine remains ever-present at the Shenango Senior Care in New Wilmington. Jasmine wasn’t a resident, nor was she a member of the staff, but the Black Labrador Retriever was a beloved regular at the facility.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo