BOONTON — “Love More Judge Less” held a Ribbon Cutting Celebration recently at 1017 Main Street, Boonton.
In the storefront on Main Street, Vicki Duffy, the founder, and executive director of “Love More Judge Less” offers support and reaches out to others who self-injure and need their help.
“Our message is you are not alone,” she said of Love More Judge Less, the first support group of its kind in New Jersey.
There was no support group focused on self-injury when Duffy, 52, began self-harming at age eight and continued into her teens. Her cycle was triggered by sexual abuse as a child and rape by a family member when she was 19.
“I did not know how to handle it or deal with it,” she recalled. “I wanted to jump in front of a bus, and instead, I took a piece of glass and just started hitting myself with it.”
Duffy pointed to a large burn scar on the inside of one forearm to explain.
Those seeking help also can count on receiving it from someone who knows their struggle from a personal perspective at Love More Judge Less.
Duffy started the group as Launching Point in 2005. For the first 15 years, they met in a 4,500-square-foot second-story room above Living Praise Church, Florham Park. They had to vacate the space over five years ago and spent the next three years meeting in an office space on Pine Street in Rockaway.
Another move to an office space in Boonton helped Duffy realize that the inclusive feel of the town was where she wanted to be, but it was not until early this year that she saw a “for rent” sign in the window of a small storefront at 1017 Main Street.
The group can be reached at (973) 224-4144 or online at judgeless.org.