*THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT*
We invite you to discover….
Clarity Courage Connection
A One-Woman Show about Discovering Your Voice on the Other Side of Fear
Sunday, March 18, 3:30-5:30pm
The Saturday Club
117 W Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
She is a speaker and organizational change and leadership expert. In her one-woman show, Wings, Susan inspires audiences with a pow- erful story of courage, hope and finding joy.
Join us for an evening of food, fun, raffles and a silent auction, as well as education and awareness about domestic violence.
Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 7:00pm
Willow Grove VFW Hall
305 West Moreland Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Click here to purchase tickets.
Thank you to our Sponsors
In this guest blog post our Community Educator, Cassandra Iannetta, offers some tips on how we can educate teens and young adults about the dangers of dating violence.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Laurel House wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent dating abuse and raise awareness for teens.
One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships are built on respect and trust for each other. Teenagers may not always know what a healthy relationship looks like, so it is our job as parents and adults to educate them.
Knowledge is POWER and simply going to the web to research Teen Dating Violence is an excellent resource. Click Below to find out more about Teen Dating Violence!!
Take steps to make a difference:
- Be a role model – treat your kids and others with respect.
- Start talking to your kids about healthy relationships early – before they start dating.
- Get involved in efforts to prevent dating violence at your teens school and in the community.
Laurel House is a comprehensive domestic violence agency in Montgomery County and we are available to provide educational services to schools throughout the county. As the community educator, I would be thrilled to speak with your students about what teen dating violence is, identify signs and red flags of teen dating abuse, as well as provide resources to help if they or someone they know are in need.
If you would like more information about Laurel House or to set up a presentation for your school please feel free to contact me at 610-277-1860 ext. 100 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an educator I am very passionate about providing youth with information about how to be healthy and I feel strongly that they can benefit from Laurel House’s presentation on teen dating violence.
Often times when reading an article relating to domestic violence I am disappointed by the comment section. Many of the comments read something like this: saying victim is the one to blame or that women blow things out of proportion. While these comments are disheartening, they often miss the bigger picture; that domestic violence isn’t just a woman’s issue. It affects men as well!
When people think of domestic abuse, they often picture the victim a woman and sometimes children. Men are often depicted as the abuser; however men can be victims as well. Working at a domestic violence agency, the staff at Laurel House has seen both men and women as both abuser and victim. The unfortunate reality is that men are more reluctant to report their abuse than women.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 835,000 men a year are physically assaulted by an intimate partner. Unfortunately a majority of these male victims won’t report their abuse. In a study conducted by the American Medical Association, males are less likely to report abuse due to fear, anxiety, a desire to appear self-reliant, and to appear independent. By not reporting, a majority of male victims are missing out on being connected to an array of services to help them safely leave their abuser and regain a life free of abuse.
While Laurel House’s shelter is exclusively for women and their children, the agency is dedicated to serving all victims of domestic abuse and providing them with the appropriate resources to get them out a dangerous situation. For male victims, Laurel House will assist them with finding safe shelter, obtaining a protection from abuse order, and individual counseling. Like all our services, they are offered to victims at no cost.
So, how do we get more men to initiate a conversation about domestic violence? We need to start by ending the stigma that male victims are weak and less of a man. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. What needs to be stressed is the importance of getting a victim help and connected to resources to remain safe during what is a dangerous time.
We also need to be open to having discussions with adolescent boys and young men about healthy relationships and staying safe in them. Education is the first step towards fighting domestic violence and the stigmas that surround it.
Another great way to get men and boys involved and educated on domestic violence is to support Laurel House by donating money, time, or wish list items. In addition to donating, consider participating our yearly events that help raise awareness. One event that men especially are encouraged to participate in is our Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event on May 2nd at Heebner Park in Worcester, PA. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. For more information on the walk and to learn how you can get involved, please click here.
Domestic violence isn’t just a woman’s issue, it’s everybody’s issue. By educating both men and women, we can help all victims get the help they need.
Sources: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. http://www.ncadv.org
Holmes, W.C., & Slap, G.B. (1998) “Sexual Abuse of Boys: Definitions Prevalence, Sequelae, and Manage” Journal of American Medical Association
Thank you to our 2015 Sponsors!Presenting Sponsor Anonymous Platinum Sponsor Montgomery County District Attorney, Risa Vetri Ferman Silver Sponsors BJNB Foundation Cabrini College Rachel and Troy Foundation Allan and Joyce Goldberg Ivan and Etta Szeftel TE Connectivity Bronze Sponsors Eileen Fisher Farber Family Foundation Mr. John and Dr. Barbara L. Jordan Chris and Patricia Roberts Bob and Didi Scott Pewter Sponsors CBIZ MHM, LLC Drs. George & Margarita Hauser Gardiner Brian and Sonja Haggert Brian and Angela Ko Andrew and Tammy Reid The Haverford Trust Company The Tioga Foundation Copper Sponsors Curtis Alloy Fred and Bryna Berman Larry and Alice Blenner Bryn Mawr Trust Morris J. Cohen & Co, PC Penn Liberty Bank Shara and Jason Rizzo Hon. & Mrs. M. Joseph Rocks Greg and Ginger Rowan Edwin Seave TD Bank Anna and Craig Tractenberg Walter and Bonnie Weber Jerry and Pat Younce Patron Sponsors Lisa Altomare Penny Satell Berman Brian and Nancy Blair Colleen Coonnelly and John Lavelle William and Andrea Devenney David and Suzanne Fields Fulton Bank James and Barbara Gray Jerre and Ruth Hardin Bruce and Roz Holberg Michael and Colleen Lelli Lindsay Insurance Group, Inc. Jane E. Robertson and M. Robert Turner III Scott and Melissa Sterling Beth Sturman Thompson Networks Karianne Tomosky Sherrie Willner Judy Worrell
While many know October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month it also is known as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but tell the NFL that. Sure it’s great that a few PSAs about domestic violence have been sprinkled in between commercial breaks during football games and that Roger Goodell toured the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline call center, but all we have noticed is a sea of pink. Pink women’s jerseys, pink hats, pink gloves, pink shoes, etc. Could we get some purple in the mix?
Not that we don’t support the pink. (Pink is the favorite color of some of us who work here.) Anything that brings attention and helps support a worthy cause is wonderful. Breast cancer has claimed the lives of so many individuals and shattered many others so kudos to the NFL for showing support, but what about domestic violence? What about the fact that the NFL has mishandled the whole Ray and Janay Rice incident? Where’s the discussion on how to reach out to players and fans about how domestic violence is something the NFL refuses to tolerate? What about pledging energy, time, and funding to domestic violence shelters and programs? What about partnering local charities with teams?
Just today we read an article on Sports Illustrated’s website about how the NFL plans on doing something for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but they haven’t decided on what yet.
Call us, NFL. We have plenty of suggestions for you.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) supports the National Football League in its efforts to prevent domestic violence by suspending Ray Rice indefinitely. To finally be heard and have people understand the impact of domestic violence is encouraging. However, although this is a step in the right direction, NCADV recognizes that domestic violence does not live only on the football field.
Violence against women spans worldwide. As a country, we have to look at domestic violence as a national problem – affecting women and families of all races, cultures, and income levels. We need to move to prevent abuse by changing practices, values, and principles that promote a culture that tolerates domestic violence nationwide. Support for this is needed not just from the NFL, but from the business sector, academia, government at all levels, families, and individuals.
NCADV looks forward to being a part of the national discussion on preventing domestic violence and bringing active solutions to every community.
Tuesday in case you missed it was National Dog Day. All over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram we were delighted to see pictures of our friends “dog children.” (Well, we also saw a bunny, but we were told it acted like a dog most of the time…to each their own.) Like most people we smiled and laughed at the hundreds of pictures showing beloved Fido in bunny ears, chasing a toy, or dressed in interesting animal couture. However, we couldn’t help but wonder if our followers ever stopped and thought to themselves about the animals that are affected by domestic violence.We often discuss how domestic violence affects coworkers, friends, family members, and small children, but little is mentioned about domestic violence and pets.
Picture yourself as a victim of domestic violence for a moment. You are in a relationship with an abusive individual whom you share an apartment with. You have no children but you own a cat that you’ve had for many years. She’s a fluffy, smushed in face, finicky old girl, but you love her dearly. Your relationship with your significant other has gotten worse over the past few months since they got laid off. What started as verbal insults and threats has now escalated into slaps on the face, breaking furniture, and shoving you into walls. You’ve had enough and have decided you want out of this relationship.
Unfortunately, your partner does not. In the heat of an intense argument, you storm out the apartment and call a friend asking if you can spend the night at their place to cool off and think. Your friend agrees and off you go. During the course of the night you get bombarded with text messages demanding you come home and asking where are you. You chose to ignore them however one chilling text message catches your eye.
If you don’t come home I’m going to kill your cat and it’ll be your fault. You wouldn’t want that would you? GET HOME NOW!
Unfortunately, for many domestic violence victims threats like these are often what holds them back from seeking help or going into shelter. Very few domestic violence shelters are equipped to board for pets and it is costly to have pets boarded by a veterinarian. For most victims that pet is a part of their family much like their children and the thought of harm coming to that animal is simply something they cannot bear to see.
According to the American Humane Association:
- 71% of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims.
- 68% of battered women reported violence towards their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women, and 75% in the presence of the children, to psychologically control and coerce them.
- Between 25% and 40% of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock should they leave.
- Pets may suffer unexplained injuries, health problems, permanent disabilities at the hands of abusers, or disappear from home.
- For many battered women, pets are sources of comfort providing strong emotional support: 98% of Americans consider pets to be companions or members of the family.
- Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house.
While those statistics are alarming, there are things we can do to advocate on behalf of our furry friends:
- Encourage someone you suspect of being a victim of domestic violence to call our 24 hour hotline at 1-800-642-3150.
- Inquire about how the abuser treats the family pet(s).
- Work with your veterinarian offices, shelters, and clinics to develop foster programs for pets of domestic violence victims.
- Support Organizations such as Red Rover which provide services to animals in crisis as well as educate.
- Refer victims to http://safeplaceforpets.org/ which can help them locate temporary safe havens for their pets.
- Contact your House Representative and ask them to support the Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (PAWS) Act which encourages protection for animals of domestic violence and makes sure the pet and their owner have a safe place to go. Visit http://www.opencongress.org/bill/hr5267-113/text for more information.
No living thing should have be a victim of domestic violence. Unfortunately animals cannot advocate for themselves and it is up to us to fight on their behalf. At Laurel House we support freedom from abuse for humans and animals alike and we hope you will do the same.
Logging onto our Facebook this week, we expected to see the usual posts about the latest ice challenge, videos on cute kittens, and quizzes to tell us what kind of hamburger we were. Of course Monday these types of posts came and we scrolled by them sharing ones we thought were interesting, reading an article about some type of cause, and yes maybe we did do the quiz because we wanted to know “what kind of hamburger were we?”
But then Tuesday morning came and everything we came to expect from Facebook changed overnight. Suddenly, we were discussing mental illnesses. More specifically, we were talking about bipolar disorders and depression. Of course all these conversations came about because of the death of beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams. Williams had long wrestled specifically with depression and bipolar disorder, and in the end lost his battle to them.
While many of our Facebook friends expressed their remorse upon learning about William’s death, many took to the website to express the need for those suffering from mental illnesses to be able to openly seek help, and not face stigmatization from the rest of society. As if the flood gates were opened, we read post after post of brave individuals who told the world that they too have suffered from similar illnesses, and they faced an internal battle every day. We read stories from people who worked with mental illnesses and how resources were scarce and put on the back burner by government officials. Over and over we read stories about people openly discussing something they had been ashamed to admit, and others who were there saying “we support you!” Facebook had suddenly become a kinder place.
Here at Laurel House, a majority of our staff have tales of working with clients from all backgrounds. They have worked with people battling addictions, mental disorders, and those who were previously, or who are currently, victims of abuse. While Laurel House remains a safe haven for victims of domestic violence, it doesn’t mean that domestic violence is the only battle they are facing. According to a 2009 study by The National Institute of Mental Health:
- 54-84% of abused women suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- 66-73% experience depression resulting from domestic violence.
- 38-75% of abused women experience anxiety.
In addition to the other services we provide at Laurel House, we also offer individual and group counseling services, supervised by licensed clinicians, to help those affected by domestic abuse address any mental health challenges they be facing. When necessary, we also work to help connect these clients with other services in the community to provide longer term mental health support, and/or to access help for their children whose mental health may have also been impacted by the abuse. Unfortunately, there are not enough of these critically needed services, and often times, community mental health agencies are forced to maintain long waiting lists due to funding shortages. We are grateful to our colleagues who work tirelessly to provide these services, and to the individuals and families who take the risk to share their own stories in an effort to help raise awareness about mental illness, and about the need for easier access to services.
Although the world lost an icon, one positive thing that came of this situation was that it got people talking about mental illness and those who are often overlooked. We can only hope that this conversation doesn’t end this week but, that it continues until change happens. So many people suffer in silence and they aren’t given a voice. It is up to us to give them one. If there’s one thing this week has shown us, it’s that there are people and organizations who care and want to make things better. It is time we utilize that comradery to be the change we want to see. Let’s not make Facebook a kinder place just this week. Let’s make it and the world a kinder place forever.
If you or someone you know are suffering from suicidal thoughts please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Goodman, L. A., S. D. Rosenberg, K. T. Mueser, and R. E. Drake. “Physical and Sexual Assault History in Women With Serious Mental Illness: Prevalence, Correlates, Treatment, and Future Research Directions.” Schizophrenia Bulletin (1997): 685-96. Psy Content. Web. 13 Aug. 2014. <http://www.psycontent.com/content/4285hr04grr06x5r/>.
While nothing positive came out of the Ray Rice situation, it got people talking about a subject often thought of as taboo: domestic violence. Men, women, young, old; everyone had an opinion on how the situation should have been handled, how the abuser should be punished, and what the victim should do. Although society expressed strong opinions, the one thing a majority of people agreed upon was that this type of violence was unacceptable.
In case you missed what happened, On February 15, 2014 Rice was arrested on assault charges for striking his then fiance, Janay Palmer. In a video from an Atlantic City casino security camera Rice is seen dragging unconscious Palmer from an elevator. While he has stated that he was totally to blame for the incident and that it was a total mistake, one thing is certain, abusing your significant other is not a way to handle any type of dispute and is indeed a crime.
According to the 2013 Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Fatality Report, there were 158 (107 victims + 51 perpetrators) deaths that resulted from domestic violence. This was a 10% increase compared to 2012’s fatalities which totaled 143. Of the 107 victims, 65 were females and 42 were males. Most of these senseless acts of violence were committed by a current or former intimate partner.
Here at Laurel House, we work around the clock with domestic violence victims to ensure they have access to the kinds of resources that they need to stay safe, and to learn about their options. While, from the outside, some bystanders might have difficulty understanding why a domestic violence survivor would stay with an abusive partner or spouse, we know that there are many factors in this kind of decision. We respect the survivor’s right to choose for themselves what course to take, and we work with them to empower them to make their own choices. People choose to stay in relationships for all kinds of reasons, including such factors as finances, children, societal pressures, and the fact that they may still love the other person, and/or feel a commitment to them. In the case of Ms. Palmer, we may never know what made her choose to stay with Mr. Rice and marry him. We respect her decision. While the abuse she suffered was very public, we know that this same kind of violence happens in homes throughout our country, in every community, every day. Most often, the victims suffer in silence, often feeling like they are very alone, and that there is nowhere that they can turn for help. Every state has a network of supportive services and supports for individuals and families who are impacted by domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website (www.ncadv.org) includes a resource section with lists for services in every state. The National Coalition Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) will also direct callers to local resources. Laurel House operates a 24/7 Hotline 800-642-3150. Callers to any of the domestic violence hotlines throughout the country, can be assured that they will find a supportive person on the other end of the phone, and that they will not have to suffer in silence any longer.
While we have strong opinions on the light punishment Roger Goodell issued, we were glad that it started a public discussion on domestic violence. Perhaps now our law makers can work on ways to hold abusers more accountable, and ways to provide more funding support for the organizations that work directly with victims. Maybe now, we can openly discuss with our coworkers, friends, and family how we can address this type of violence in our communities and workplaces. Maybe school curriculums can now include talks on healthy and safe relationships. Just maybe…