Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Wellspring to Participate in 2016 Allstate Purple Purse Challenge

Wellspring to Participate in 2016 Allstate Purple Purse Challenge

October is domestic violence awareness month.  In Saratoga County, domestic violence is the #1 cause of family homelessness, the 2nd most prosecuted violent crime, and the #1 cause of homicide.  For 35 years, Wellspring has been providing crisis intervention and support services, as well as community programming and prevention education.  Now, with the help of a national challenge, Wellspring hopes to be able to make their services even more robust and accessible.

Beginning on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Wellspring will take part in a month-long fundraising campaign as part of the 2016 Purple Purse Challenge, a month-long fundraising competition for charities benefiting domestic violence survivors compete to raise the most money with the top teams winning grand prize cash donations totaling $325,000 from The Allstate Foundation.  The Challenge, an annual competition hosted on CrowdRise, is a public fundraising and awareness campaign that Challenge provides an opportunity for organizations that support domestic violence survivors to increase their donor base and push for vital funds as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This is the first time Wellspring has competed in the Challenge, which last year raised nearly $3.1 million for 161 domestic violence organizations throughout the United States.

Wellspring executive director Maggie Fronk said, “This challenge represents an extraordinary opportunity for our supporters to work together for a common cause—to end relationship and sexual abuse in our community. The great thing about this challenge is that one-hundred percent of the proceeds come to Wellspring, no strings attached.  This means that every gift will support the needs of our clients and our work to end relationship and sexual abuse in our community by providing things such as: shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, youth prevention programs, and social change initiatives.”

She added, “For anyone who would like to help Wellspring during the challenge, there are a number of opportunities.  First, visiting our Purple Purse page on September 28, 2016, and making a gift will help Wellspring start out strong—every gift matters, big or small.  Second, Wellspring is looking for volunteers to help raise money for the campaign.  People interested in fundraising for the challenge can sign up at https://www.crowdrise.com/DomesticViolenceServices-PurplePurse2016/.  Other ways to support the Wellspring and the challenge include spreading raising awareness about Wellspring and the challenge via social media and email, through a social outing, and organizing a ‘dress-down’ Friday, or a dining out night to raise money and awareness.

In order to count toward an organization’s total, donations must be received by Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. ET. Along with $115,000 in weekly bonus challenges, the organization in each division that raises the most money will receive a $100,000 grant; second place will receive $50,000; third place will win $25,000; fourth place earns $20,000; and fifth place will get $15,000.

The Purple Purse Challenge is part of The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse program, which aims to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through financial empowerment. In its 12th year, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has propelled more than 800,000 victims on the path to safety and security, and has invested more than $50 million to empower women to break free from abuse through life-changing financial education, job training, readiness, and small business programs for survivors.  Locally, Wellspring also offers a financial literacy-training program in conjunction with Soroptomist International of Saratoga County, ‘Project Hope & Power.’

About Wellspring

At Wellspring, our mission is to support survivors and engage our community to end relationship and sexual abuse.  Each year, our crisis intervention and survivor services support more than 1,000 clients—providing safe housing to adults and children either fleeing or homeless because of domestic violence, as well as 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.

ABOUT THE ALLSTATE FOUNDATION Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees, The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people’s lives. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.

ABOUT CROWDRISE CrowdRise is the world’s largest and fastest growing online platform dedicated exclusively to charitable fundraising. CrowdRise is used by millions of individuals, tens of thousands of charities, hundreds of companies and many of the most famous artists and athletes in the world to creatively leverage their resources and networks to unlock the power of the crowd to support positive social missions and create massive impact.

Founded by actor Edward Norton, film producer Shauna Robertson and Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, CrowdRise has conceived, implemented and powered campaigns that have raised hundreds of millions dollars to date. For more information visit CrowdRise.

100 Days… to a more peaceful holiday season for everyone

Is Black Friday your favorite day of the year... or Cyber Monday? Are you  a last minute shopper racing around the mall on Christmas Eve? Or maybe someone who pays that additional  one-day delivery shipping fee to be sure their presents get there in time. Or are you that rare person who smiles (smugly?) when hearing friends talk about the crowds in the mall on December 22nd and says, "oh all my gifts have been wrapped and ready since before Thanksgiving."

Each year I seem  to be spending a little less time at the mall and more time shopping on-line. There's nothing more fun  than getting my shopping done while curled up in a chair next to the woodstove... and two days later coming home to a stack of boxes with really unique gifts for everyone on my list. And when then I go to the mall to buy one last gift so I get to experience the decorations, the music, kids sitting on Santa's lap... all the excitement of holiday shopping but only one line, no parking hassles  and no pressure.

How we shop varies from person to person, but we all give to show love, to bring joy and to make the world a little better. Want to expand  your giving and bring some extra smiles, without any additional cost or effort? When I shop on-line I do my shopping through amazonsmile. It's as easy as using amazon.com (same company, same wish list, same amazon prime advantages, same account settings) but when I use amazonsmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of every purchase to Wellspring. So while I'm giving to those I love, amazon is giving to support a nonprofit in my community. I, of course, select Wellspring (registered as Domestic Violence Services) as my charity of choice. Signing up takes less minute... really. it's 6 easy steps. Go to: 


Questions? Learn More about Amazon Smile

Sign in (or set up new account)

Search for and select Domestic Violence Services Inc.

Check box that says: Yes, I understand that I must always start at Smile.Amazon.com to support Domestic Violence Services, Inc.

Start Shopping
 
Now as you're spreading holiday joy, Amazon will be giving money back  to your community to help end domestic violence. What better gift is there this holiday season than making sure everyone is safe at home.
 
May we all have peace this holiday season. Thank you for your support.

100 Days… to a more peaceful holiday season for everyone

Is Black Friday your favorite day of the year... or Cyber Monday? Are you  a last minute shopper racing around the mall on Christmas Eve? Or maybe someone who pays that additional  one-day delivery shipping fee to be sure their presents get there in time. Or are you that rare person who smiles (smugly?) when hearing friends talk about the crowds in the mall on December 22nd and says, "oh all my gifts have been wrapped and ready since before Thanksgiving."

Each year I seem  to be spending a little less time at the mall and more time shopping on-line. There's nothing more fun  than getting my shopping done while curled up in a chair next to the woodstove... and two days later coming home to a stack of boxes with really unique gifts for everyone on my list. And when then I go to the mall to buy one last gift so I get to experience the decorations, the music, kids sitting on Santa's lap... all the excitement of holiday shopping but only one line, no parking hassles  and no pressure.

How we shop varies from person to person, but we all give to show love, to bring joy and to make the world a little better. Want to expand  your giving and bring some extra smiles, without any additional cost or effort? When I shop on-line I do my shopping through amazonsmile. It's as easy as using amazon.com (same company, same wish list, same amazon prime advantages, same account settings) but when I use amazonsmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of every purchase to Wellspring. So while I'm giving to those I love, amazon is giving to support a nonprofit in my community. I, of course, select Wellspring (registered as Domestic Violence Services) as my charity of choice. Signing up takes less minute... really. it's 6 easy steps. Go to: 


Questions? Learn More about Amazon Smile

Sign in (or set up new account)

Search for and select Domestic Violence Services Inc.

Check box that says: Yes, I understand that I must always start at Smile.Amazon.com to support Domestic Violence Services, Inc.

Start Shopping
 
Now as you're spreading holiday joy, Amazon will be giving money back  to your community to help end domestic violence. What better gift is there this holiday season than making sure everyone is safe at home.
 
May we all have peace this holiday season. Thank you for your support.

Sportscasters Aren’t DiscussingThese Concussions

Car racing fans are will be missing a favorite driver in races throughout the rest of 2016. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been off the track for several races already due to a  concussion and it was recently announced that he'll miss the remaining races of the season.  In recent years, athletics teams have been much more diligent  in implementing concussion protocols to better evaluate, monitor and treat brain injuries to minimize the risk of long-term health problems.  Each head injury is unique and recovery may take days, weeks or months... or may result in permanent injury. From football fields to the boxing ring, to racecars, and from Little Leagues to the major leagues,  there's increased concern for addressing neurological damage due to head injuries.

Even with protective gear, helmets, and attentive medical professionals, athletes and coaches are concerned  about the life-altering damage that can be caused by a single, or by repeated, head trauma. There's a group of people who may suffer these same damaging blows  to the head, but they lack protective gear, immediate medical attention, or  protocols to assist them post injury. They may  experience lasting neurological damage that impairs their daily functioning... and no one identified the reason. According to the article Fists Not Football: Brian Injuries  Seen in Domestic Assaults, "the injuries leave some survivors so impaired that they can't manage their jobs and lives. Some even end up homeless". For many of these victims, the cognitive decline was gradual, the result of  repeated injuries, many which never  resulted in any medical intervention. In the article, Susan Contreras talks discusses mysterious seemingly unrelated physical conditions, headaches, memory loss, and confusion that she'd never associated with the physical abuse.
"He would hit me mainly in the head
so that nobody would see the injuries...
there's so many holes in my memory, thinking problems," she said. 
 "My memory is really gone."
 
This isn't just a random, small population. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the US,  about one quarter of  women and 14% of men have experienced  severe physical assaults by a partner. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, we can help. Call Wellspring to discuss your concerns and your options. All services are free and confidential.
 
 
Office 518-583-0280
24/7 Hotline 518-584-8188
 






Sportscasters Aren’t DiscussingThese Concussions

Car racing fans are will be missing a favorite driver in races throughout the rest of 2016. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been off the track for several races already due to a  concussion and it was recently announced that he'll miss the remaining races of the season.  In recent years, athletics teams have been much more diligent  in implementing concussion protocols to better evaluate, monitor and treat brain injuries to minimize the risk of long-term health problems.  Each head injury is unique and recovery may take days, weeks or months... or may result in permanent injury. From football fields to the boxing ring, to racecars, and from Little Leagues to the major leagues,  there's increased concern for addressing neurological damage due to head injuries.

Even with protective gear, helmets, and attentive medical professionals, athletes and coaches are concerned  about the life-altering damage that can be caused by a single, or by repeated, head trauma. There's a group of people who may suffer these same damaging blows  to the head, but they lack protective gear, immediate medical attention, or  protocols to assist them post injury. They may  experience lasting neurological damage that impairs their daily functioning... and no one identified the reason. According to the article Fists Not Football: Brian Injuries  Seen in Domestic Assaults, "the injuries leave some survivors so impaired that they can't manage their jobs and lives. Some even end up homeless". For many of these victims, the cognitive decline was gradual, the result of  repeated injuries, many which never  resulted in any medical intervention. In the article, Susan Contreras talks discusses mysterious seemingly unrelated physical conditions, headaches, memory loss, and confusion that she'd never associated with the physical abuse.
"He would hit me mainly in the head
so that nobody would see the injuries...
there's so many holes in my memory, thinking problems," she said. 
 "My memory is really gone."
 
This isn't just a random, small population. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the US,  about one quarter of  women and 14% of men have experienced  severe physical assaults by a partner. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, we can help. Call Wellspring to discuss your concerns and your options. All services are free and confidential.
 
 
Office 518-583-0280
24/7 Hotline 518-584-8188
 






There’s No Perfect Rape

Amy Schumer gets points for using her comedy to not just make us laugh, but to make us think about really important issues!


Entertainment Weekly reports that in promoting her now book, she sat for an interview with Howard Stern and discussed the effects of losing her virginity when she was raped by her then boyfriend as she slept. This type of rape doesn't fit our image of 'what rape is'.  There was no masked stranger jumping from the bushes rape. There was no screaming and struggling in fear for her life. It's not what we imagine rape to be... but it's what rape is, more often than not.
She knew him well and trusted him
Most rape victims know their assailant. (According to a 2011 CDC study less than 14% of rapes are perpetrated by a stranger.) 
 
She didn't report the rape to the police
The majority of rapes are not reported to the police. According to the Bureau of justice Statistics only 36 percent of rapes, 34 percent of attempted rapes, and 26 percent of sexual assaults are reported.

She didn't behave as we would expect
The rape didn't immediately end the relationship. She stayed with him and even reassured him when he expressed remorse. Many rape victims initially deny to themselves that they were assaulted. Many don't disclose the rape to anyone immediately, or for decades. The reasons are as diverse as rape victims: shock and disbelief that someone they know and trusted could do this to them, shame, fear of being judged. And they've got good reason. Our society  often questions and judges the actions of the rape victim even more than those of the assailant. What was she wearing? Had she been drinking? Did she send mixed messages, e.g., agree to kissing but not sex? Did she protest loudly enough or fight him off? Society's response to rape influences how victims respond. For example, an American Medical Association study  reports that more than half of 6000 teens studied believed rape is acceptable, if the male and female had dated six months or longer or if he'd spent considerable money on her.

Is it any wonder why victims don't report rapes?
Rape is an all too common crime. Victims behaviors don't cause rape; rapes are caused by a decision to engage in nonconsensual sex. RAINN surveyed the activities of victims when they were raped:
  • 48% were sleeping, or performing another activity at home
  • 29% were traveling to and from work or school, or traveling to shop or run errands
  • 12% were working
  • 7% were attending school
  • 5% were doing an unknown or other activity
Just because a rape is what Schumer jokingly refers to a  as a "grape", i.e., gray area rape, doesn't diminish the violation the victim feels. In fact, being sexually assaulted by your best friend, a family member, or a trusted co-worker can leave a greater sense of betrayal than a complete stranger.  Schumer confided that her "[the rape] messed me up... "my trust issues are terrible." With comedy, compassion and candor, she challenges our judgments about sexual assault victims, using her own life experience as a launching point for conversation about a taboo topic. "I think it's important to talk about because it's made me feel less alone when other women have come forward about being sexually assaulted," Schumer told Stern. "And also because it's not this perfect rape. People want you to have been raped perfectly, and they want you to be a perfect victim."


Schumer has used her considerable comedic voice as a forum to transcend the victimization and to help others. We don't all have that option or her frankly her courage. If you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault, whether recent or in the past, call us. We know there's no such thing as a 'perfect rape'.



Office 518-583-0280
24/7 Hotline 518-584-8188

For more information about consent and how to talk about it visit our consent webpage


There’s No Perfect Rape

Amy Schumer gets points for using her comedy to not just make us laugh, but to make us think about really important issues!


Entertainment Weekly reports that in promoting her now book, she sat for an interview with Howard Stern and discussed the effects of losing her virginity when she was raped by her then boyfriend as she slept. This type of rape doesn't fit our image of 'what rape is'.  There was no masked stranger jumping from the bushes rape. There was no screaming and struggling in fear for her life. It's not what we imagine rape to be... but it's what rape is, more often than not.
She knew him well and trusted him
Most rape victims know their assailant. (According to a 2011 CDC study less than 14% of rapes are perpetrated by a stranger.) 
 
She didn't report the rape to the police
The majority of rapes are not reported to the police. According to the Bureau of justice Statistics only 36 percent of rapes, 34 percent of attempted rapes, and 26 percent of sexual assaults are reported.

She didn't behave as we would expect
The rape didn't immediately end the relationship. She stayed with him and even reassured him when he expressed remorse. Many rape victims initially deny to themselves that they were assaulted. Many don't disclose the rape to anyone immediately, or for decades. The reasons are as diverse as rape victims: shock and disbelief that someone they know and trusted could do this to them, shame, fear of being judged. And they've got good reason. Our society  often questions and judges the actions of the rape victim even more than those of the assailant. What was she wearing? Had she been drinking? Did she send mixed messages, e.g., agree to kissing but not sex? Did she protest loudly enough or fight him off? Society's response to rape influences how victims respond. For example, an American Medical Association study  reports that more than half of 6000 teens studied believed rape is acceptable, if the male and female had dated six months or longer or if he'd spent considerable money on her.

Is it any wonder why victims don't report rapes?
Rape is an all too common crime. Victims behaviors don't cause rape; rapes are caused by a decision to engage in nonconsensual sex. RAINN surveyed the activities of victims when they were raped:
  • 48% were sleeping, or performing another activity at home
  • 29% were traveling to and from work or school, or traveling to shop or run errands
  • 12% were working
  • 7% were attending school
  • 5% were doing an unknown or other activity
Just because a rape is what Schumer jokingly refers to a  as a "grape", i.e., gray area rape, doesn't diminish the violation the victim feels. In fact, being sexually assaulted by your best friend, a family member, or a trusted co-worker can leave a greater sense of betrayal than a complete stranger.  Schumer confided that her "[the rape] messed me up... "my trust issues are terrible." With comedy, compassion and candor, she challenges our judgments about sexual assault victims, using her own life experience as a launching point for conversation about a taboo topic. "I think it's important to talk about because it's made me feel less alone when other women have come forward about being sexually assaulted," Schumer told Stern. "And also because it's not this perfect rape. People want you to have been raped perfectly, and they want you to be a perfect victim."


Schumer has used her considerable comedic voice as a forum to transcend the victimization and to help others. We don't all have that option or her frankly her courage. If you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault, whether recent or in the past, call us. We know there's no such thing as a 'perfect rape'.



Office 518-583-0280
24/7 Hotline 518-584-8188

For more information about consent and how to talk about it visit our consent webpage


Wellspring partners with the Prevention Council to encourage parents of college bound students to discuss alcohol, sex, and consent.

From the time a teen arrives for their first days of college, until Thanksgiving Break is the period with the highest risk of sexual victimization, often referred to as the Red Zone. The new freedoms that come with being away from home, including having increased access to alcohol, can be a volatile mix. In fact, 90% of college sexual assaults involve alcohol use by either the perpetrator of the victim. With many families getting ready to send a child off to college for the first time, the Prevention Council, and Wellspring have produced a new video dealing with the issues of alcohol, sex, and consent. The video is part of the Prevention Council’s programming for parents dealing with a range of issues.

Wellspring executive director Maggie Fronk said, “Parents want to keep their kids safe. It is hard to know what to talk about, and how to talk about it. This video helps parents talk to their boys and girls about alcohol, about sex, and about consent to help them make healthy decisions when they head off to college.”

She added, “Consent is an important topic for all children because of the role of affirmative consent in preventing sexual assault; it is the responsibility of a person initiating a sexual act to obtain consent, regardless of gender, as well as the effects of drugs and alcohol on consent.”

Consent is permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. When sex is consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Non-consensual sex, or sex without someone’s agreement or permission, is sexual assault.

The video is part of the continuing work of Wellspring to prevent crises before they arise by educating the community about relationship and sexual abuse. The organization offers a wide range of prevention and education programs at no cost to schools and community organizations in our county. In 2015, Wellspring prevention educators spoke to more than 6,500 Saratoga County youth and adolescents. The program staff focus on helping young people use the information about issues such as: consent, creating social change, how to intervene, and the connection between alcohol and sexual victimization, to enhance their critical thinking skills and increase their personal safety.

Some important things to know about consent:

• Drugs and alcohol blur consent. Drugs and alcohol impact decision making. When drugs and alcohol are involved, clear consent cannot be obtained. In many states, an intoxicated person cannot legally give consent.
• Consent needs to be clear. Consent is more than not hearing the word “no.” A partner saying nothing is not the same as a partner saying “yes.” Don’t rely on body language, past sexual interactions or any other non-verbal cues. Never assume you have consent. Always be sure you have consent.
• Consent can be fun. Consent does not have to be something that “ruins the mood.” In fact, clear and enthusiastic consent can actually enhance sexual interactions. Not only does it allow one to know that their partner is comfortable with the interaction, it lets both partners clearly express what they want.
• Consent is specific. Just because someone consents to one set of actions and activities does not mean consent has been given to any other sexual act. Similarly, if a partner has given consent in the past to sexual activity this does not apply to current or future interactions. Consent can be initially given and later withdrawn.

*****
ABOUT WELLSPRING: At Wellspring, our mission is to support survivors and engage our community to end relationship and sexual abuse. Each year, our crisis intervention and survivor services support more than 1,000 clients—providing safe housing to adults and children either fleeing or homeless because of domestic violence, as well as 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.

ABOUT THE PREVNTION COUNCIL: The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County, Inc, is a nonprofit, community-based organization. Our mission is to provide education, information and referral services on the subjects of alcohol, tobacco, other drug and violence prevention to individuals and local communities, thereby enhancing the quality of life for all citizens by diminishing the adverse effects of substance abuse and violence.

6th Annual Pooch Parade to Support the Safe Pet Partnership

Calling all pooches!!

Join us for the 6th Annual Pooch Parade
Saturday, September 24 in Congress Park, Saratoga Springs9d27eb95-7130-40c5-97bf-09668b8b2508
(We Will Gather by the War Memorial)
10:00 registration opens and activities start
11:00 blessing and walk start
$5/pooch (people are free)Events will include a blessing, photographer, agility course,
‘pawdicures’ (nail clippings), a dog behaviorist, and more!

Help us raise awareness of the connection between pet and family violence and support Wellspring’s Safe Pet Partnership Program.

The Safe Pet Partnership Program assists victims of relationship violence who remain in their abusive environments because they don’t want to leave their pets behind. We do this by providing a resource network of kennels, rescue groups, farmers, and pet “foster homes” for safe, temporary placement.

Proceeds of the Pooch Parade support the Safe Pet Partnership – providing safe and loving homes for pets of those who need time to heal.

Register online coming soon.

 For more information, or to learn about how you can participate in Safe Pet Partnership, please contact our office by phone (583-0280) or email: info@wellspringcares.org

X