News and Tribune

Recent Local News

February 28, 2013

Group fosters the healing process

Annual SOAR banquet to benefit abused women is Friday

NEW ALBANY —

On a wall at the SOAR ministries house in New Albany, a painting of a tree hangs. Instead of bright green leaves blooming from its branches, painful words cover its bare limbs as its roots run deep into the soil. 

Survivors during a retreat wrote these sayings in an attempt to deal with the enduring legacy of their childhood sexual abuse. Like the tree, the roots of many of their problems began with the molestation. Shame, anger and loneliness blossomed as its fruits. 

For the past 13 years, survivors such as these have helped many uproot the remnants of this abuse. Naming the group Survivors of Abuse Restored, or SOAR, the organization has made an impact in the lives of more than 400 women in Southern Indiana. On Friday, March 1, the nonprofit ministry will celebrate these victories at its Healing Hearts Banquet, its major fundraising event of the year. 

“What the public and what people don’t understand is that childhood sexual abuse is the root of a lot of women’s issues,” said president of the board and local counselor Cathy Jo Summers. “There are a lot of things that are the result of childhood sexual abuse.”

Statistics show that one in every three females has experienced some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18, the effects of which don’t end with childhood. As they age, these women have a greater likelihood of suffering from depression, antisocial behavior, anxiety and low self-esteem, not to mention other emotional and even some physical problems. 

More than a decade ago, SOAR founder and abuse survivor Leslie Thomas was confronted with the fact that few resources were available for survivors in the area. Not many support groups existed that focused only on childhood sexual abuse. So she decided to found one. 

After approaching Northside Christian Church about using its facilities to start a group, the leaders agreed and, as Thomas said, the rest is history. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Recent Local News
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.