As Valentine's Day approaches, it seems candy, hearts and other symbols of love are everywhere. Indeed, love is in the air — but tragically, not for everyone. ACCESS-York, our county's emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, is full of victims of brutal violence at the hands of people who claim to love them.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a time to reflect on how we can ensure healthy, loving and safe relationships for teens just beginning to venture into the world of dating. One in three teens and young adults experience some form of dating abuse — physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

ACCESS-York provides not only emergency shelter for victims, but also many non-shelter services like counseling, safety-planning and legal and medical advocacy. These services are available to all victims of all ages, including the vulnerable teens subjected to intimate partner abuse so early in their lives.

Everyone can help ACCESS-York achieve our goals. You can become a trained counselor/advocate for victims by enrolling in our volunteer training that starts on March 18. You can donate money or much needed shelter items as twin sheet sets, pillows, towel sets or personal care items. And every day you can practice our truths that no one deserves to be abused and peace on earth begins at home.

For more information on helping ACCESS, please call 717-845-2631, ext. 226.

JANE TUCKER

Founder and volunteer

ACCESS-York