Commentary by Lorene Burkhart
While being admitted to the ER recently (all is well), I was surprised when the person admitting me asked, “Do you feel safe where you live?” Later, I realized how important this question might be for people who don’t feel safe. This provides an opportunity to ask for help. I wonder how many victims of abuse answer the question.
One of the benefits of living in a retirement community is that the elderly are safe. It’s one reason adult children are pleased when their parents decide to move from living alone. Not only are they safe from outside hazards, but they are also safe if they have a medical emergency and need immediate assistance. The elderly move for additional reasons, too, among them to be with other people, for the food and for the lack of responsibility.
Another group who often don’t feel safe are children who can’t defend themselves in abusive situations. A program recently launched by Marian University called “City Connects,” founded by Boston College, places a trained social worker alongside a school counselor. They meet with each student to offer their assistance with personal problems faced by the child and family. Adults are then connected to existing agencies that can provide support. This year, the program is in 34 schools in Indiana and next year will add 12 IPS eastside schools.
When I see the horrific scenes in Ukraine, it makes me even more appreciative of being safe.