Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Move Aside Mr. Groundhog

So February has some important dates to remember:
Valentines Day (14th)
Bartenders' Ball  (11th- show up to support this year's recipient CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services)
Presidents' Day (20th ...and start of a school break for many)...
and of course
Groundhog Day (2nd... we haven't really had winter yet, but I'd be OK with an early spring).


So tomorrow we'll be talking about whether the groundhog predicts an early spring or more winter, but here's something to think about all month long. It's Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Talk to your kids about signs of abuse in a relationship... and what constitutes a health relationship. At Wellspring, we want everyone to have healthy relationships. Sometimes it's confusing to discern when everyday behaviors cross the line into controlling. This month we'll be sharing some tools to increase awareness, start the conversation, and give you some resources if needed.  Let's start with discussing boundaries and consent.

Not every healthy relationship looks the same.  However, every healthy relationship does need safe communication, trust, boundaries, and mutual respect. Being on the same page is important, you want  to make sure that both you and your partner want and expect the same things.  Everyone should feel comfortable setting boundaries as they see fit, and these boundaries may change or adjust as the relationship evolves. Having open communication regarding your boundaries in a relationship creates respect and ensures that  each person’s needs are  being met. Check out Wellspring's video about consent to start the conversation.

Wellspring Announces Addition of Four New Board Members

Wellspring Announces Addition of Four New Board Members

Wellspring has announced the addition of four members to its board of directors, Amy Knussman, John Lefner, Denis Palumbo, and Dawn Sauer.


Mrs. Knussman is an attorney and Partner at Donnellan & Knussman, PLLC, in Ballston Spa.  A practicing attorney since 2003, she has represented thousands of children, parents, and relatives in family court and matrimonial matters.  She is a member of the Saratoga County Bar Association, Adirondack Women’s Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, and Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District.  Attorney Knussman is the 2012 Recipient of the Legal Project’s Brigid Nolan Memorial Award, which is presented for dedication, and pro-bono service of victims of domestic violence offered through Legal Project.

Currently, Mrs. Knussman is the Events Chair for the Chango Elementary School PTA and is a member of the school’s Safety Team. Previously she served on the Board of Directors of the Beagle School.  Mrs. Knussman has lived in Saratoga County for over eighteen years. She resides in Ballston Lake with her husband, two sons, and their dogs.

Mr. Lefner is the Executive Director for the Capital District YMCA.  He is a seasoned non-profit executive, has provided leadership to the Saratoga Independent School, Double H Ranch, and YMCA associations in Rhode Island and Florida.  He is a member of the Double H Ranch 25th Anniversary Committee and the Saratoga Independent School 7th & 8th Grade Expansion Committee.  Mr. Lefner resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Dr. Jennifer Lefner and two daughters Sasha and Olivia.

Denise Palumbo is one of the owners of Plum and Crimson Fine Interior Design in Saratoga Springs.  Denise is a member of the Saratoga Builders Association and has volunteered for many years on their Showcase of Homes Committee.  She resides in Saratoga Springs, and is the mother of three grown children.

Mrs. Sauer is an Account Executive at Adirondack Trust Insurance.  She has been a member of the Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild, acted as a parent volunteer at Saint Clement’s Regional Catholic School, and has volunteered locally for a variety of nonprofit organizations since moving to the Capital Region in 2007.  Dawn is a Leadership Saratoga alumna and serves on the Saratoga Chamber Players Board of Directors.
Wellspring executive director Maggie Fronk said, “Wellspring’s set a BIG GOAL—Ending relationship and sexual abuse in our community.  Our board, staff, and volunteers are committed, every single day to achieving that goal.  We’re thrilled to welcome these four new board members who share the same vision, and have the passion and skills we need to accomplish our goal.”

 

About Wellspring: The mission of Wellspring is to support survivors and engage our community to end relationship and sexual abuse.  Each year, their crisis intervention and survivor services support more than 1,000 clients—keeping them safe, and providing comprehensive support in the form of counseling, legal advocacy, and case management.  While helping victims in need is a major focus of the Agency’s mission, we know that by increasing awareness we can end intimate partner violence.  Wellspring staff provides prevention and education programs to school-aged youth, as well as training and education programs for parents, faith based congregations, and professional organizations.

 

###

Need hope? Look around.


Commitment to social justice knows no age limits. On Monday, I attended a leadership training coordinated by Youth2. There I saw teens discussing concerns for the environment, women’s rights,poverty, homelessness and hunger, and global issues of injustice. They didn’t only talk about these concerns, but brainstormed ways they could take an active role in addressing these problems… learning how to be “solutionaries”.
I don’t remember, when I was 16, spending a school holiday trying to strategize how I  could make a difference in a global problem. Even walking out of the training, looking at the tee shirt on the Y2 member ahead of me in line, their passion inspired me.
This morning I opened the paper and read that Mary Jane Smith, one of the founders of  Unity House, had passed  away. I started my career in human services more than three decades ago (gasp- wow I don't often do that math!) at Unity House's sister agency, Mohawk Opportunities. While we met briefly many decades ago, Mary Jane didn't know me... but over the years I've watched Unity House grow and seen firsthand the positive impact their programs have had on so many lives.
As we look at the human service organizations locally, we often forget their humble beginnings 3, 4,or 5 decades ago. Many of them, Wellspring included, began because a few concerned citizens gathered and started talking about a  local issue and just like those teens at the  Youthtraining began brainstorming a plan they could implement to address a local need. It didn't escape my notice that the article about Mary Jane had a picture of her taken last year, still volunteering serving lunch to those in need at the age of 87.
Like so many of our inspiring local leaders whom we've recently lost, e.g., Denny Brunelle, former executive director of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (and leader on many of our local initiatives to help those in need), or Anne Palamountain, philanthropist and founding member of many local nonprofit initiatives, including Wellspring's rape crisis services, they began working to help others early in adulthood and continued to do so throughout their lives, never tiring in their commitment to those in need and to our community. I'm humbled by their compassion, generosity and leadership and grateful for their impact.  I'm also inspired as I look at a new generation of youth just as committed to making this world a better  place.
Reading the news every day, it's easy to feel hopeless. The headlines make me wonder if our challenges are overwhelming and our leaders aren't able to address the needs of the people... but when I look up from my computer screen at what people are doing, I'm inspired and hopeful. Together we can make a difference. 
 

 

Need hope? Look around.


Commitment to social justice knows no age limits. On Monday, I attended a leadership training coordinated by Youth2. There I saw teens discussing concerns for the environment, women’s rights,poverty, homelessness and hunger, and global issues of injustice. They didn’t only talk about these concerns, but brainstormed ways they could take an active role in addressing these problems… learning how to be “solutionaries”.
I don’t remember, when I was 16, spending a school holiday trying to strategize how I  could make a difference in a global problem. Even walking out of the training, looking at the tee shirt on the Y2 member ahead of me in line, their passion inspired me.
This morning I opened the paper and read that Mary Jane Smith, one of the founders of  Unity House, had passed  away. I started my career in human services more than three decades ago (gasp- wow I don't often do that math!) at Unity House's sister agency, Mohawk Opportunities. While we met briefly many decades ago, Mary Jane didn't know me... but over the years I've watched Unity House grow and seen firsthand the positive impact their programs have had on so many lives.
As we look at the human service organizations locally, we often forget their humble beginnings 3, 4,or 5 decades ago. Many of them, Wellspring included, began because a few concerned citizens gathered and started talking about a  local issue and just like those teens at the  Youthtraining began brainstorming a plan they could implement to address a local need. It didn't escape my notice that the article about Mary Jane had a picture of her taken last year, still volunteering serving lunch to those in need at the age of 87.
Like so many of our inspiring local leaders whom we've recently lost, e.g., Denny Brunelle, former executive director of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (and leader on many of our local initiatives to help those in need), or Anne Palamountain, philanthropist and founding member of many local nonprofit initiatives, including Wellspring's rape crisis services, they began working to help others early in adulthood and continued to do so throughout their lives, never tiring in their commitment to those in need and to our community. I'm humbled by their compassion, generosity and leadership and grateful for their impact.  I'm also inspired as I look at a new generation of youth just as committed to making this world a better  place.
Reading the news every day, it's easy to feel hopeless. The headlines make me wonder if our challenges are overwhelming and our leaders aren't able to address the needs of the people... but when I look up from my computer screen at what people are doing, I'm inspired and hopeful. Together we can make a difference. 
 

 

What Can We Learn From Tragedy?

While 2017 started bright with promise for most of us, for five people the year ended tragically almost as soon as it began. When we're bombarded with news stories about mass violence, we can get caught in the details (e.g., how many people, how did it happen, what were the motives) and lose sight of  the human impact. The Washington Post presents a brief snapshot into the people who were gunned down in the shooting in Fort Lauderdale that took the lives of 5 people, among them:
a father of 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren who was a devoted husband of 40+ years
a great grandma with a lilting British accent who was active in her faith community
a business owner whose open heart extended to adopting a large active black lab  with a missing leg, and 
a mom of 3 and grandma to 6 who was just weeks away from her 51st anniversary.

These are such senseless tragedies and when they suddenly pop on our news screens, we're struck by the unpredictability of this type of violence.


Click here to view an interesting
animation of 9 key factors
While we may not be able to accurately predict when and where the next mass shooting will happen, there are some strong correlates... and a big one is domestic violence. Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety did an analysis of mass shooting (click here to read the report or  here to view an interesting animation of 9 key factors).
Here are three correlates that may surprise you:

Domestic Violence- In 57% of mass shootings, the shooter killed a current/former partner  of family member, and in more than 15% of cases the shooter had a previous domestic violence charge.

Private Residence- 70% of mass shootings (defined as an incident in which 4 or more people, not including the shooter are killed with a gun) took place in private residences, not public spaces.

Percent and Frequency- Mass shootings represent less than 1% of gun  homicides and occur fairly regularly with no more than 3 months between tragedies.

And here's one correlate that's not as strong as many would expect:

Mental Illness- In only 11% of shootings had concerns been brought to a professional prior to the rampage... and in less than 1% was the shooter prohibited from owning guns due to severe mental illness.

What can we learn from this? While the large scale public massacres command media attention, gun violence isn't limited to these events-- in fact, many mass shootings take place in homes, against family members, and fairly regularly. The correlates between domestic violence and homicide are unmistakable. I've always viewed law enforcement's response  to domestic violence as homicide prevention. I'm not by any means implying that every instance of domestic violence may escalate to a homicide, but rather that taking domestic violence seriously, assessing the  pattern of power and control, and paying attention to key indicators (e.g., threats to kills the victim or instances of strangulation, i.e., "choking" the victim) that increase risk to lethality-- these are strategies that can reduce the  possibility that domestic violence will escalate to tragic, fatal consequences.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you or someone you know
is experiencing domestic violence call Wellspring:
Office 518-583-0280
24/7 Hotline 518-584-8188


Know the tactics  of power and control that underlie domestic violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, talk to a domestic violence advocate to know your options. There's so much we can't predict ... here's one thing we can do to reduce the likelihood of mass violence.






What Can We Learn From Tragedy?

While 2017 started bright with promise for most of us, for five people the year ended tragically almost as soon as it began. When we're bombarded with news stories about mass violence, we can get caught in the details (e.g., how many people, how did it happen, what were the motives) and lose sight of  the human impact. The Washington Post presents a brief snapshot into the people who were gunned down in the shooting in Fort Lauderdale that took the lives of 5 people, among them:
a father of 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren who was a devoted husband of 40+ years
a great grandma with a lilting British accent who was active in her faith community
a business owner whose open heart extended to adopting a large active black lab  with a missing leg, and 
a mom of 3 and grandma to 6 who was just weeks away from her 51st anniversary.

These are such senseless tragedies and when they suddenly pop on our news screens, we're struck by the unpredictability of this type of violence.


Click here to view an interesting
animation of 9 key factors
While we may not be able to accurately predict when and where the next mass shooting will happen, there are some strong correlates... and a big one is domestic violence. Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety did an analysis of mass shooting (click here to read the report or  here to view an interesting animation of 9 key factors).
Here are three correlates that may surprise you:

Domestic Violence- In 57% of mass shootings, the shooter killed a current/former partner  of family member, and in more than 15% of cases the shooter had a previous domestic violence charge.

Private Residence- 70% of mass shootings (defined as an incident in which 4 or more people, not including the shooter are killed with a gun) took place in private residences, not public spaces.

Percent and Frequency- Mass shootings represent less than 1% of gun  homicides and occur fairly regularly with no more than 3 months between tragedies.

And here's one correlate that's not as strong as many would expect:

Mental Illness- In only 11% of shootings had concerns been brought to a professional prior to the rampage... and in less than 1% was the shooter prohibited from owning guns due to severe mental illness.

What can we learn from this? While the large scale public massacres command media attention, gun violence isn't limited to these events-- in fact, many mass shootings take place in homes, against family members, and fairly regularly. The correlates between domestic violence and homicide are unmistakable. I've always viewed law enforcement's response  to domestic violence as homicide prevention. I'm not by any means implying that every instance of domestic violence may escalate to a homicide, but rather that taking domestic violence seriously, assessing the  pattern of power and control, and paying attention to key indicators (e.g., threats to kills the victim or instances of strangulation, i.e., "choking" the victim) that increase risk to lethality-- these are strategies that can reduce the  possibility that domestic violence will escalate to tragic, fatal consequences.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you or someone you know
is experiencing domestic violence call Wellspring:
Office 518-583-0280
24/7 Hotline 518-584-8188


Know the tactics  of power and control that underlie domestic violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, talk to a domestic violence advocate to know your options. There's so much we can't predict ... here's one thing we can do to reduce the likelihood of mass violence.






Shop on Amazon Smile, and you can support Wellspring!

Did you know that Amazon Smile gives a portion of its proceeds to qualified organizations like Wellspring?

 

Go to smile.amazon.com, and when prompted, search for ‘Domestic Violence Services Inc,’ (our IRS filing name), and select our agency. Then shop, purchase, and ship. Voila!! Shopping complete with supporting Wellspring and our clients!

Karma, Recycling, and Ending Abuse


Happy New Year. 

This could be the easiest New year's resolution ever!
Whether you are a resolution-maker or not, you're probably bombarded by articles about creating change: weight loss plans, fitness programs,  financial planning strategies, tips to get organized...  programs for every type of resolution. Yet by this weekend a quarter of folks will have lost the resolve in their resolutions. Why? Expectations too big? Not truly committed to the goal? Life provided a reality check? Seemingly overnight, big plans become no plans. Its good to think big, but maybe we get to the end goal quicker with small steps.  

 
Today a colleague shared a quote that made me stop and think about all those abandoned resolutions,

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”
Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing
 I do better making changes really stick when I pick something easily doable and make it an ingrained part of my daily routine. You all know I'm committed to ending relationship and sexual abuse. I'm also really concerned about our environment... but I'm not always 100% with the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' mantra. But every year I pick one practice I will commit to so I will be I kinder to Mother Earth. Several years ago taking the recyclables to the transfer station, I noted how many empty laundry detergent bottles we had and got to thinking about not only the toxic chemicals in those bottles, but the energy used to transport them, the processing to make the bottles, and the possibility that a portion of them wind up in landfills leaving a permanent legacy of disrespect for the environment. I started making my own laundry detergent and haven't bought prepackaged laundry soap in years. It takes only a couple of minutes and the only waste is a paper wrapper from the Fels Naptha soap bar and 2 cardboard boxes (one  Borax and one washing soda)-- these I use to start the fire in my woodstove that heats our house all winter. It's not much but over those years  I've reduced the number of plastic bottles passing through our house by hundreds...and I've kept at it because it was a simple commitment (bonus points because it's cheaper than bottled laundry detergent, has no perfumes or dyes and works just as well). 
 
 
Each year at Christmas I look at the pile of pretty wrapping paper that gets crumpled up and put in the trash (can't burn this because of all the glossy paper with colored dyes). So this year I 'wrapped' my gifts in reusable shopping bags. It cost less than fancy paper
and was a little extra 'gift' for the recipient. Perhaps they'll think of Christmas when they're grocery shopping. I had fun all last year picking up the perfect bag with decorations suited to each  person in my life... but on December 25th my supply was gone. Well Hannaford just came to the rescue.
Throughout January, at the Hannaford storelocated at:
95 Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs NY,
the
Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program hasfocused on supporting:
Wellspring!
Hannaford is donating a portion of sales  of every good karma bag to Wellspring. So stock up- save the planet- and support our work toward community free of relationship and sexual abuse. "One gesture. One person. One moment at a time."
~ Every day counts ~
 
 
 
 
 
 

Karma, Recycling, and Ending Abuse


Happy New Year. 

This could be the easiest New year's resolution ever!
Whether you are a resolution-maker or not, you're probably bombarded by articles about creating change: weight loss plans, fitness programs,  financial planning strategies, tips to get organized...  programs for every type of resolution. Yet by this weekend a quarter of folks will have lost the resolve in their resolutions. Why? Expectations too big? Not truly committed to the goal? Life provided a reality check? Seemingly overnight, big plans become no plans. Its good to think big, but maybe we get to the end goal quicker with small steps.  

 
Today a colleague shared a quote that made me stop and think about all those abandoned resolutions,

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”
Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing
 I do better making changes really stick when I pick something easily doable and make it an ingrained part of my daily routine. You all know I'm committed to ending relationship and sexual abuse. I'm also really concerned about our environment... but I'm not always 100% with the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' mantra. But every year I pick one practice I will commit to so I will be I kinder to Mother Earth. Several years ago taking the recyclables to the transfer station, I noted how many empty laundry detergent bottles we had and got to thinking about not only the toxic chemicals in those bottles, but the energy used to transport them, the processing to make the bottles, and the possibility that a portion of them wind up in landfills leaving a permanent legacy of disrespect for the environment. I started making my own laundry detergent and haven't bought prepackaged laundry soap in years. It takes only a couple of minutes and the only waste is a paper wrapper from the Fels Naptha soap bar and 2 cardboard boxes (one  Borax and one washing soda)-- these I use to start the fire in my woodstove that heats our house all winter. It's not much but over those years  I've reduced the number of plastic bottles passing through our house by hundreds...and I've kept at it because it was a simple commitment (bonus points because it's cheaper than bottled laundry detergent, has no perfumes or dyes and works just as well). 
 
 
Each year at Christmas I look at the pile of pretty wrapping paper that gets crumpled up and put in the trash (can't burn this because of all the glossy paper with colored dyes). So this year I 'wrapped' my gifts in reusable shopping bags. It cost less than fancy paper
and was a little extra 'gift' for the recipient. Perhaps they'll think of Christmas when they're grocery shopping. I had fun all last year picking up the perfect bag with decorations suited to each  person in my life... but on December 25th my supply was gone. Well Hannaford just came to the rescue.
Throughout January, at the Hannaford storelocated at:
95 Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs NY,
the
Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program hasfocused on supporting:
Wellspring!
Hannaford is donating a portion of sales  of every good karma bag to Wellspring. So stock up- save the planet- and support our work toward community free of relationship and sexual abuse. "One gesture. One person. One moment at a time."
~ Every day counts ~
 
 
 
 
 
 

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