Safe at Home: Baseball Legend Joe Torre’s Foundation
Joe Torre is probably best known for his career in baseball. He played for the Milwaukee Braves, the Cardinals, and the Mets. He’s been a catcher, a first baseman and a third baseman. He was awarded AL Manager of the Year in 1996 and 1998. He will soon be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. What you may not know is that Joe Torre lived in a home where his mother endured years of abuse at the hand of his father, a New York City police officer. His older siblings shielded him from the domestic abuse that occurred almost daily, until his older brother asked his dad to leave their home. Joe Torre was 12 years old at the time. It was only years later that Joe realized the deep scars left by living in a home dominated by verbal and physical abuse. Watching his dad throw dinner against a wall, drag his mom out of bed to cook meals all hours of the night, listening to the horrendous rants of his father, scarred his soul. And he did not seek help till he was well into mature adulthood. As far as Joe was concerned, there was no real source of help for him to access. At some level, he did not even know that he needed help.
Safe At Home Foundation was born out of Joe Torre’s own epiphany that indeed he was hurt, badly hurt, and he did need help. He realized that he had suffered needlessly for so many years, and he wanted to make sure that others did not suffer because they were afraid to seek help, or didn’t know where to seek help. He was especially worried about teens struggling with domestic violence in their homes. In honor of his mother Margaret, a special off shoot of Safe At Home called Margaret’s Place, provides middle and high school students with a “safe room” to talk to each other about domestic violence. A professional counselor trained in domestic violence intervention and prevention provides additional support and counseling services.
Margaret’s Place is currently in nine schools and two community centers, with locations in New York, New Jersey and California. Individual and group counseling is available as well as school-wide anti-violence campaigns and other support programs. Students called peer counselors receive special training and act as ambassadors for Margaret’s Place within their school community.
At the helm of this wonderful organization is Joe Torre’s sister-in-law, Judith Anne Lynn. For more information and ways you can help, check out the organization online.