Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

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 ~
 
 
 
 
 
 

Make Each Minute Count

Saratoga Today reporter, Tom Dimopoulos, and I spoke recently about Wellspring's  work. Throughout our conversation  I talked  about our emphasis on prevention and early intervention. Our best hope for the future is that our shelter is empty and our hotline never rings... because we've ended relationship and sexual abuse. We're on the path, but we're not there yet. Our hotline answers ~1,400 calls each year, our shelter is almost always full, and our counselors see a steady stream of men and women  who have experienced abuse.
Dimopolous wrote about his conversation with, Tina,  a domestic violence survivor who had utilized Wellspring's services. Her story echoed the words we hear so often from survivors:
  • Tina endured decades of abuse before seeking help
  • Financial instability prevented Tina from leaving and her partner's economic abuse threatened her custody of her children.
  • Tina kept hoping that if she tried harder the abuse would end, "It took me a long time to realize I couldn't fix him, that my love couldn't carry it through."
  • Remaining in the abuse, Tina felt hopeless and desperate, "The psychological effect...spun me into a dark, life-threatening world of depression. I was in a state of turmoil and didn't know what to do."
By chance Tina happened upon Wellspring, called and began to forge a new life without abuse, "Immediately I felt there was a glimmer of hope."

So many people wait to seek help until a crisis forces action. Why?
  •  Sometimes they don't identify what they are experiencing as domestic violence, especially if they are not physically abused.  Emotional abuse, financial control, social isolation and sexual coercion are all forms of domestic violence.
  • Often they love the person, don't want to leave him/her... they just want the abuse to end. They think if they try harder it will stop. Domestic violence is a pattern of power and control... the behaviors are a choice the abuser makes.
  • They see so many obstacles that they can't even contemplate leaving. Wellspring offers a range of support services, e.g., emergency shelter, legal advocacy, subsidized housing, and employment assistance. Talk to us about your concerns; like Tina, you too may immediately feel a glimmer of hope for the first time.
Tina's story of hope, healing and transcendence is inspiring... but I also hear such regret that she endured 22 years of abuse, before seeking the help where she can now say, "Wellspring gave me a new lease on life and I'm going to take full advantage of it...I don't take for granted one minute of my life.
I'm so grateful that she's reached a point where she has power and joy in every minute of her life. I regret that she endured 22 years of abuse-- that's more than 11 million minutes of her life overshadowed by domestic violence-  before  she found the support to help her escape.

If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship or sexual abuse, call Wellspring. Cherish every minute of your life.


 

Make Each Minute Count

Saratoga Today reporter, Tom Dimopoulos, and I spoke recently about Wellspring's  work. Throughout our conversation  I talked  about our emphasis on prevention and early intervention. Our best hope for the future is that our shelter is empty and our hotline never rings... because we've ended relationship and sexual abuse. We're on the path, but we're not there yet. Our hotline answers ~1,400 calls each year, our shelter is almost always full, and our counselors see a steady stream of men and women  who have experienced abuse.
Dimopolous wrote about his conversation with, Tina,  a domestic violence survivor who had utilized Wellspring's services. Her story echoed the words we hear so often from survivors:
  • Tina endured decades of abuse before seeking help
  • Financial instability prevented Tina from leaving and her partner's economic abuse threatened her custody of her children.
  • Tina kept hoping that if she tried harder the abuse would end, "It took me a long time to realize I couldn't fix him, that my love couldn't carry it through."
  • Remaining in the abuse, Tina felt hopeless and desperate, "The psychological effect...spun me into a dark, life-threatening world of depression. I was in a state of turmoil and didn't know what to do."
By chance Tina happened upon Wellspring, called and began to forge a new life without abuse, "Immediately I felt there was a glimmer of hope."

So many people wait to seek help until a crisis forces action. Why?
  •  Sometimes they don't identify what they are experiencing as domestic violence, especially if they are not physically abused.  Emotional abuse, financial control, social isolation and sexual coercion are all forms of domestic violence.
  • Often they love the person, don't want to leave him/her... they just want the abuse to end. They think if they try harder it will stop. Domestic violence is a pattern of power and control... the behaviors are a choice the abuser makes.
  • They see so many obstacles that they can't even contemplate leaving. Wellspring offers a range of support services, e.g., emergency shelter, legal advocacy, subsidized housing, and employment assistance. Talk to us about your concerns; like Tina, you too may immediately feel a glimmer of hope for the first time.
Tina's story of hope, healing and transcendence is inspiring... but I also hear such regret that she endured 22 years of abuse, before seeking the help where she can now say, "Wellspring gave me a new lease on life and I'm going to take full advantage of it...I don't take for granted one minute of my life.
I'm so grateful that she's reached a point where she has power and joy in every minute of her life. I regret that she endured 22 years of abuse-- that's more than 11 million minutes of her life overshadowed by domestic violence-  before  she found the support to help her escape.

If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship or sexual abuse, call Wellspring. Cherish every minute of your life.


 

When’s the right time ot talk about consent?

Wellspring prevention educators spend a lot of time talking to high school and college students about consent. We're discussing consent in the context of dating relationships, but there's no reason to wait so long to talk to youth about consent... and in fact, it's much easier to practice the concepts with less emotionally charged situations than dating or sexual encounters.

I love that this comic  humorously demonstrates that it's never too early to talk to kids about consent. Illustrator Chris Brady explains how this comic came to be.



  


When’s the right time ot talk about consent?

Wellspring prevention educators spend a lot of time talking to high school and college students about consent. We're discussing consent in the context of dating relationships, but there's no reason to wait so long to talk to youth about consent... and in fact, it's much easier to practice the concepts with less emotionally charged situations than dating or sexual encounters.

I love that this comic  humorously demonstrates that it's never too early to talk to kids about consent. Illustrator Chris Brady explains how this comic came to be.



  


When’s the right time ot talk about consent?

Wellspring prevention educators spend a lot of time talking to high school and college students about consent. We're discussing consent in the context of dating relationships, but there's no reason to wait so long to talk to youth about consent... and in fact, it's much easier to practice the concepts with less emotionally charged situations than dating or sexual encounters.

I love that this comic  humorously demonstrates that it's never too early to talk to kids about consent. Illustrator Chris Brady explains how this comic came to be.



  



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