Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week


SSCYE invites you to participate in

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, Jan. 25 - 31

Help educate young people about the effects and consequences of drug and alcohol use by taking part in National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week. Hosted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug Facts Week takes place from Jan. 26 to 31.

In its sixth year, National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week was developed by NIDA to educate teens with science-based facts about the effects and consequences that drugs have on the brain, body, and behavior. By bringing young adults and scientific experts together with a common goal, National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week aims to shatter the myths and empower teens with the knowledge to make positive choices.

National Drug Facts WeekJoin hundreds of participants across the country, and tens of organizations and school districts in Southern Saratoga County, by getting the facts out about the risks of youth drug use.  Consider working with local youth, schools, and prevention coalitions to organize an educational event or activity for teens that delivers real, factual information about drugs and drug abuse.

Here’s how you can take part:

• Use your social media accounts to share information with your followers using the tweets provided below.  Be sure to give a “shout-out” to the Southern Saratoga County Youth Empowerment (SSCYE) Partnership by using our twitter handle, @SSCYE1.

• Plan an educational event for your community using NIDA’s step-by-step toolkit and free educational materials. More information here:  https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week

• Register here https://www.nidachat.org/register.aspx for the Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 26th from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., or take the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge Quiz https://teens.drugabuse.gov/quiz/national-drug-facts-week/take-iq-challenge/2015

SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING

Marijuana

  1. A study showed people 13-38 who used marijuana regularly from teen to adulthood had a significant drop in IQ even if they quit #drugfacts
  2. Marijuana use more than doubles a driver’s risk of being in an accident. #drugfacts
  3. Early marijuana use can increase the risk of psychosis, a mental disorder where delusions and hallucinations are common symptoms #drugfacts
  4. Is Marijuana addicting? 1 in 11 youth who smoke marijuana seek treatment. #drugfacts
  5. THC in marijuana, deadens neurons in the part of the brain that’s in charge of short-term memory #drugfacts

 

Alcohol

  1. About 5,000 people under 21 die each year from injuries caused by underage drinking #drugfacts
  2. More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics #drugfacts
  3. Teens who drink heavily are 3 times more likely to try to hurt themselves than those who don’t. #drugfacts
     
    Prescription Drugs

  1. In 2007, prescription pain meds were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined #drugfacts
  2. Half of the young people who injected heroin in 3 recent studies started out abusing prescription drugs first #drugfacts
  3. Students who abuse Adderall are 9x more likely to use cocaine #drugfacts
     
    Tobacco

  1. Most people who start smoking in their teens become regular smokers before they’re 18 #drugfacts
  2. 1 in 3 youth smokers will eventually die from a tobacco related disease #drugfacts
  3. There are 69 human and animal carcinogens in tobacco smoke #drugfacts
  4. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death causing almost half a million deaths each year, many from cancer #drugfacts

 

General

  1. The 3 drugs most often mentioned in ER visits related to drug use are cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs #drugfacts
  2. The drugs with the highest risk for addiction are heroin, cigarettes, and cocaine #drugfacts

Rape or Regret

Rape or Regret: YOU be the Jury

On Monday, January 11, Wellspring will be presenting their program “Rape or Regret: A Jury’s Dilemma”, at the Saratoga Springs Library in the H. Dutcher Community Room.  The program will begin at 6:30 PM.  All are invited to attend the film and mock-jury deliberation to determine the guilt of the fictional 18 year-old defendant, Ryan Kelly.

Presented as a mock trial, this film explores a case of teenage sexual assault.  As the case unfolds, the audience hears the testimony of the complainant and the defendant, their attorneys, and various witnesses.  Participants then act as the jury in determining the legal guilt or innocence of the defendant.

Wellspring advocates will then lead a discussion to help promote a better understanding of sexual assault and the challenges that exist in prosecution as well as a conversation about safe relationship practices.

Come to the Library on Monday evening and bring your teens. This is your chance to open an important conversation with them and in your community.

Check out the film’s trailer on YouTube.

Rape or Regret? A Jurys Dilemma Trailer 2012
Rape or Regret? A Jurys Dilemma Trailer

 

Clearly, It Needs to be Stated Clearly

These 10 Rape Prevention Tips may at first elicit a chuckle. But like much humor there's a truth that lingers long after the smile fades.


I'd like to think that in 2016, we don't need to remind people that victims aren't to blame for being assaulted, but judging from a Mayor's response to what the local police chief refers to as "a completely new dimension of crime", we're not there yet. Julie Zeilinger reports that in Cologne, Germany, 80 women were attacked in New Year's Eve by an estimated 100 men who collaborated in a planned gang assault on the women. Cologne's mayor responded not by detailing how the city would address such attacks, but by proposing a Code of Conduct for women to "remain at arm's length from strangers".




For years advocates have tried to reduce sexual violence by educating women about strategies to reduce their vulnerability to being a target of sexual violence (don't leave your drink unattended, don't walk alone late at night); the unintended consequence of these well-intentioned suggestions is that society's first thought is "Why wasn't she being safer when the attack happened?", instead of focusing on why the assailant attacked the victim.



So perhaps it's time to disseminate widely the 10 Rape Prevention Tips that get to the heart of the issue.

Wellspring to expand services to adult survivors of sexual assault in Washington County

For Immediate Release

December 24,2015

 

Contact: Maggie Fronk

executivedirector@wellspringcares.org

518.583.0280

 

Wellspring to expand services to adult survivors of sexual assault in Washington County.

Citing the recent decision of The Adirondack Health Institute to stop providing victim support to adult survivors of sexual assault in Washington County, Wellspring has announced that the agency will begin expanding their existing comprehensive sexual assault victim services to include  these individuals beginning December 31, 2015.

 

In response to the imminent gap in victim assistance services, Wellspring will be providing services to  adult survivors of sexual assault in Washington County, including a 24-hour hotline, accompaniment to Glens Falls Hospital for support in sexual assault forensic exams, assistance in completing applications for victim compensation from the New York State Office of Victim Services, follow up counseling and case management, and legal advocacy such as court accompaniment.

 

Noting the importance of providing comprehensive care in helping survivors of sexual assault to begin the healing process, Wellspring executive director Maggie Fronk said, “Wellspring is fully committed to not only providing an immediate response to a critical need, but will actively seek funds to provide a comprehensive response to address sexual assault in Washington County.” Fronk noted that right now Wellspring’s primary focus is insuring that victims know who to contact for support and community providers have the information to make referrals, “The Adirondack Health Institute and Wellspring have worked collaboratively to ensure that sexual assault victims will not have any gap in service. Beginning December 31st, anyone requiring assistance can call Wellspring’s hotline at 518-584-8188 for 24/7crisis or support services.”

 

Wellspring provides crisis intervention via hotline and emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, comprehensive case management, support groups, and other services to over 1,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Saratoga County each year.   Additionally Wellspring believes  the best treatment is prevention, and therefore offers numerous community outreach, prevention, and issue awareness programs for schools, community and professional groups, and businesses alike.  All services are confidential and free of charge. Contact the 24-hour hotline at 518-584-8188 for assistance.

*****

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 core 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.

 

###

It Just Takes One Person to Light that Candle

Back to work today, still coated with the sparkling glitter of a family Christmas, I opened my e-mail and a friend had sent me an article he read about child abuse. His comments piqued my interest, "... a truly incredible story... his thoughts on courage towards the end of the article are inspiring." I thought, maybe this will be a good blog post, let's see.  Within a nanosecond of reading Black and Blue, and the opening words, "My father used to beat the shit out of me," that holiday glitter tarnished instantaneously and I nixed the idea of this as my first post-holiday blog entry.
 
So why just hours after returning to work from a holiday weekend am I writing about National Hockey League's Patrick Sullivan's account of his abusive childhood? Because unlike Norman Rockwell's depictions of holidays forever memorialized in 2D with with abundant feasts, loving families, and magical wonder, many of our favorite holiday stories are indeed stories of transcendence from challenges, deprivation or even evil. The true glitter of our holiday season comes from light... a light that shines from within and radiates outward.  For centuries religious traditions have glorified that light in their teaching:
  • the star of Bethlehem, leading the wise men to a savior
  • the sacred oil that miraculously burned for not one night but eight, providing hope in a time of darkness and persecution
  • the light of the new moon signaling the start of Ramadan and a commitment to self sacrifice, purification and good acts, and  
  •   a more recent addition, Kwanzaa, to celebrate the strengths,  values and heritage of people for whom community was ripped apart due to slavery and for whom safety and equality are still a daily struggle. 
Hollywood and Hallmark have managed to morph the resonant Halleluiahs  into a more enjoyable Hootenanny, but like Rudolph's blinking beacon the stories that resonate with us often explore the struggle between the darkness we all see daily and the possibility of light entering and transforming that darkness:
  • Charlie Brown (struggling for acceptance)
  • Rudolph (bullying and ostracism)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (depression, suicide), and
  • The Grinch (greed, jealously, vengeance).
So back to Patrick Sullivan and child abuse... and how in the world the story of a small child struggling desperately to be good enough, not to earn his father's love, but rather good enough to be momentarily spared from a beating at the end of the day that connects to my post holiday glow and the work of Wellspring. Sullivan's message is not for the people who are like his father- they're too far gone. His message is for the parents sitting next to him in the bleachers, for the neighbors who worry about what they hear, for the family member who wishes things were different; his message is for you and for me, and for all of us who are standing in the parking lot and can't find the courage to say something. He's telling us it's ok to make a sound. And if we do, we too may find that our small quivering voice will be joined by others resonating throughout Whoville with  true light. I recently read a quote from a security consultant who formerly worked in law enforcement and the Secret Service, "You don't rise to the occasion; you sink to your level of training." he was talking about violent intruder situations, but I think his observation holds equally true as we're watching our kid's hockey practice. I imagine Sullivan at 5 years old wearing his first pair of hockey skates. Now I'd like to imagine how different his life would have been if someone- anyone- would have spoken up. Read his story, imagine what you wish someone would have  done. And maybe when the chance presents itself you or I will be ready with a better response.


Wellspring provides prevention education to approximately 6,000 youth and adults each year. A core value in our prevention education is empowering bystanders to take action  to intervene when they see a situation, but also to create social change to end relationship and sexual abuse. If you're interested in learning more about how you can bring these no-cost, interactive programs to your youth group, faith organization, workplace or other group give us a call at 518-583-0280.
 
 
 
 
 
 





WELLSPRING RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE ADIRONDACK TRUST COMPANY COMMUNITY FUND

22 December, 2015 – For Immediate Release

Maggie Fronk, Executive Director
518-583-0280

WELLSPRING RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE ADIRONDACK TRUST COMMUNITY FUND

 

To support the work of Wellspring, the domestic violence and sexual assault services resource for Saratoga County residents, The  Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund recently awarded a $2,000 Lend-a-Hand grant at the Community Fund’s annual grant award reception on December 15, 2015.  Wellspring joined 22 other local nonprofits that were awarded over $44,000 in aid by the fund.  Wellspring will use the funds to purchase the essential items to support their secure shelter.

ATC1

 

The emergency shelter operated by Wellspring provides a safe, clean, and comfortable environment enabling victims of family violence to focus on their own healing. Each year, the shelter provides over 2,900 safe bed-nights to adults and children fleeing domestic abuse.  “Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children in Saratoga County. An immediate, safe, and violence-free environment is one of the critical services we provide to victims of relationship abuse. In some cases it is the difference between life and possibly death.” said Maggie Fronk, Wellspring Executive Director.

 

Wellspring provides crisis intervention via hotline and emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, comprehensive case management, support groups, and other services to over 1,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year.   The agency operates on a belief that the best treatment is prevention, and offers numerous community outreach, prevention, and issue awareness programs for schools, community and professional groups, and businesses alike.  All services are confidential and free of charge. Contact the 24-hour hotline at 518-584-8188 for assistance.

 

About The Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund

The Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund (“The Community Fund”) was established in 2009 to serve as a perpetual source of philanthropic support for the needs of local charities. The Fund is an independent 501(c) (3) charitable organization. Since its inception in 2013, the Autumn of Giving Campaign has raised over $125,000 from the community. With the bank match, the overall total raised exceeds $250,000. The Adirondack Trust Company serves as the Trustee and Administrator of The Community Fund with the guidance of an Independent Advisory Committee, comprised of individuals from the community. The Community Fund’s website is www.atccf.org.

 

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.

That’s Not Love

I'm often asked, "Why do people stay in abusive relationships?" The simple answer is that if the coercive control was apparent from the first date, they wouldn't. Instead the power and control sneaks up insidiously. Sometimes it even creeps in disguised as love, rescue, devotion, or praise. Only later in the relationship does the target of the abuse get a sense that something isn't right. By then they're often deeply into the relationship-- maybe fearful of what would happen if they left, maybe embarrassed that they're being abused.  While physivcal absue is easier to identify It can be hard to explain the slippery slope of emotional abuse, but One Love's #That'sNotLove campaign has a series of short videos that show us how that 'wonderful relationship' can quickly slide into abuse.


Watch the videos so you'll recognize the early signs... that way you'll be able to help someone before things get worse.

Meathead Movers- Inspiring Others to End Domestic Violence

I'm overdue for posting a 'Good Newsday Tuesday' blog post, so here's a moving story (dreadful pun intended)  to highlight the good being done in the world. When they were just starting their business (charging $20 and a pizza), the owners of Meathead Movers would drop everything and help domestic violence victims move their belongings so they could be free of abuse. Eighteen years later, and with more sophistication (they involve the local domestic violence agency to provide safety planning and support) they're still helping families break free from abuse.


And they're inspiring others to do the same They've launched #MovetoEndDV to inspire businesses to offer their services (e.g., haircuts, dog boarding, oil changes, security systems) at no cost to help domestic violence survivors. What I love about this concept is;
  •  Businesses don't have to do special collections. They are simply providing their skills and expertise- what they do best- to someone who desperately needs this assistance
  • Domestic violence agencies can provide their client with  the donated service when it's needed. So many nonprofits struggle with donation management. For example, we ask for a specific donation, e.g., winter boots, because we've had people who have needed them recently and we didn't have them. Our generous caring community responds with loads of winter boot donations... and no one who comes to us needs winter boots for the rest of the season. But we've got several people who need food... or help putting gas in the car so they can get to their new job... or a cell phone because their partner purposely broke theirs.
Offering to provide a specific service when it's needed or providing gift cards that we can give to our clients to help them through times, affords agencies the flexibility to provide help how and when it's most needed.


People often comment to me that it must be so depressing working at an agency that assists with such traumatic issues as relationship and sexual abuse. It's true that each day we encounter some of the worst examples of humanity. But not a day goes by that we don't experience caring, compassion, and generosity. So we also see the very best of humanity... people giving selflessly to help others achieve a better life. So to all of you who champion our vision to end relationship and sexual abuse, thank you.

100 Years Have Changed How We Respond



Reading the '100 Years Ago' section in today's Saratogian, I was struck by how little some things change. Referring to a social issue in Mechanicville the article states, "The hobo problem is becoming serious in the city... Last month 111 'Knights of the Road" were lodged at the local jail, released in the morning and ushered out of town." As I read other articles in the Saratogian, Racino Helps Out Local Program and Saratoga Business Journal, Shelters Of Saratoga Gears Up Its 'Code Blue' Program and Has New Plans In Coming Year, I was struck by how much our response has shifted from a punitive response to trying to provide compassionate intervention to help people overcome challenges and get back on track. 

codebluelogo2Mike Finocchi, the executive director of Shelters of Saratoga, who oversees Code Blue, the homeless shelter, the  adult and youth drop in program and street outreach program, explained that  homeless people are a tight knit group who look out for each other and recommend Code Blue to their peers when the temperature drops,  "No one wants to see someone they know freezing to death." It's not just homeless persons looking out for each other. In Saratoga, I think we can change that sentence to "No one wants to see anyone freezing to death." We remember that Code Blue started with a tragic death on a cold December night. Code Blue would not exist without the immense community support: donations from local restaurants to provide meals, community volunteers staffing the shelter throughout the many cold nights over the past 2 winters, businesses like Cudney's donating services, the generosity of the Salvation Army providing space for Code Blue, as well as generous financial contributions that sustain this humanitarian intervention.


Reading the '100 Years Ago' article I realized some things haven't changed. There were people struggling with homelessness then and there are now too. But today the police don't lock them up and then put them on a rail out of town. Today they bring them to Code Blue, where they are treated with dignity and offered  not just a hot meal and safe night's sleep, but the resources and assistance to overcome their current challenges.


                Interested in volunteering for Code Blue? 
Click here for more information

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