Community Success Stories Harmony House Helps 15 Year Old Work Towards Healing

We’re sharing success stories from UW member organizations that are demonstrating excellent care for our community members. 


This one comes from Harmony House:

“In 2021, our team at Harmony House met a shy, smart, 15-year-old girl named Emma. Emma had reluctantly disclosed to her father that her mother’s new husband, her stepfather, had been sexually abusing her. Emma’s father alerted CPS and law enforcement, who in turn, contacted Harmony House for a forensic interview to take place with Emma.


From the moment Emma disclosed, her father believed her and stood by her side, bringing her to Harmony House regularly for therapy while the investigation progressed. Charges were filed in the case but unfortunately, despite the confession of the stepdad, Emma’s mother refused to acknowledge that he had done anything wrong. She chose her partner over her daughter, further victimizing and traumatizing Emma during what was the most challenging time of her life.


Although this seems unthinkable, this is something that we see quite often in cases of child abuse. Based upon the testimony given in court by Harmony House staff, members of the MDT, and Emma herself, her offender received a guilty verdict and was sentenced. 


Emma is still receiving therapy from HarmonyHouse and continues to make progress towards healing. She is now able to worry about the things teenagers are supposed to be dealing with such as graduating high school, planning her future, dating, and getting her driver’s license.


We are truly inspired by the resiliency and strength of the children that come to Harmony House and for them to have a supportive environment in which they feel safe to tell their story. 


Emma’s school is one of the community schools visited by our Community Education Coordinator in which body safety education was presented. Educating and discussing appropriate body safety rules and boundaries is one of the tools of prevention.”


About the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley

The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley supports Ohio County, Tyler County, Marshall County, Wetzel County, Brooke County in West Virginia, and Belmont County and Monroe County in Ohio. Donating through your local United Way is the best way to reach the most people in need.

The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is an organization that supports nonprofit organizations in our area through annual campaigns, payroll deduction fundraising efforts, and individual donations. These community-minded people combine donations from employees and businesses alike to help assist those who need it most. The support from the annual campaign is then allocated to nonprofit programs through our volunteer allocations panels. We support 40 programs (and counting) in the upper Ohio Valley that tackle the toughest needs in the Ohio Valley. Consider giving to the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley today.