Bus passes make Wise Options better

The YWCA’s Wise Options for Women program served 1,147 adults and children in 2017-18.

It gave victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Lycoming County emergency shelter, a crisis hotline, legal advocacy, counseling and prevention education.

But in return, the victims give up a lot of independence and a lot of normalcy. Many of them do not own a car or a bicycle and are forced to execute many parts of daily life by walking.

Until now.

A recent grant from the First Community Foundation is resulting in $3,000 worth of 31-day bus passes to Wise Options clients.

They can now use the buses to more easily run errands, take their kids to day care and go to work — all the things that so many people do every day. In other words, they get to be normal.

And normal is a big deal for a victim of domestic abuse. It is the goal that, when reached, can give them hope, strength and the resolve to escape their psychological cave.

Wise Options have been a great program run by an excellent organization in the YWCA for a long time. It is the life raft in a violent storm for so many victims of domestic abuse.

The ultimate goal of the program — making it possible for victims to emerge with their lives and their mental state intact — is elusive.

The program has a track record of near-perfect administration.

The bus passes give those executing the program another tool to help victims restore themselves to that elusive normal routine, a key step in erasing the scourges of domestic violence.