Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

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.

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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.

 

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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

Tuesday is the Day for Giving



So the turkey leftovers are all gone. Hopefully between Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, you've gotten a start on your holiday shopping.  And if you're like me and prefer to skip the crowds, today's the day to sit on the couch and take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals; then wait for the packages to arrive on the porch in a few days. 
 
But before you put the list away, there's one more important item. Don't forget about #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. So think about the causes you care about. While you’re making the season brighter for friends and family, you can also make an impact by supporting the nonprofit agencies dedicated to that cause. While you may not get the immediate thrill of seeing joy on someone’s face after they tear off the wrapping paper, you’ll know that you’ve made a difference. 
 
If  you’re interested in helping to address Saratoga County’s the #2 violent  crime, #1 cause of family homelessness, and top cause of homicide,  might I suggest a donation to Wellspring. 
  • $20 provides taxi fare for a domestic violence victim to get to court 
  • $50 helps a family with their first week of groceries as they move into a violence-free home 
  • $200 provides legal advocacy so a domestic violence victim can access an order of protection, and  
  • $500 provides 3 days of prevention programs in a local high school reducing the incidence of dating violence and sexual assault for our youth.  
Click here to make a one-time or a recurring donation to Wellspring.


Whether you care about saving the manatees, bringing music to disadvantaged neighborhoods, or ending relationship and sexual abuse, thanks for caring and sharing this holiday season by supporting your favorite charity.
 
 











Tuesday is the Day for Giving



So the turkey leftovers are all gone. Hopefully between Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, you've gotten a start on your holiday shopping.  And if you're like me and prefer to skip the crowds, today's the day to sit on the couch and take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals; then wait for the packages to arrive on the porch in a few days. 
 
But before you put the list away, there's one more important item. Don't forget about #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. So think about the causes you care about. While you’re making the season brighter for friends and family, you can also make an impact by supporting the nonprofit agencies dedicated to that cause. While you may not get the immediate thrill of seeing joy on someone’s face after they tear off the wrapping paper, you’ll know that you’ve made a difference. 
 
If  you’re interested in helping to address Saratoga County’s the #2 violent  crime, #1 cause of family homelessness, and top cause of homicide,  might I suggest a donation to Wellspring. 
  • $20 provides taxi fare for a domestic violence victim to get to court 
  • $50 helps a family with their first week of groceries as they move into a violence-free home 
  • $200 provides legal advocacy so a domestic violence victim can access an order of protection, and  
  • $500 provides 3 days of prevention programs in a local high school reducing the incidence of dating violence and sexual assault for our youth.  
Click here to make a one-time or a recurring donation to Wellspring.


Whether you care about saving the manatees, bringing music to disadvantaged neighborhoods, or ending relationship and sexual abuse, thanks for caring and sharing this holiday season by supporting your favorite charity.
 
 











Tuesday is the Day for Giving



So the turkey leftovers are all gone. Hopefully between Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, you've gotten a start on your holiday shopping.  And if you're like me and prefer to skip the crowds, today's the day to sit on the couch and take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals; then wait for the packages to arrive on the porch in a few days. 
 
But before you put the list away, there's one more important item. Don't forget about #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. So think about the causes you care about. While you’re making the season brighter for friends and family, you can also make an impact by supporting the nonprofit agencies dedicated to that cause. While you may not get the immediate thrill of seeing joy on someone’s face after they tear off the wrapping paper, you’ll know that you’ve made a difference. 
 
If  you’re interested in helping to address Saratoga County’s the #2 violent  crime, #1 cause of family homelessness, and top cause of homicide,  might I suggest a donation to Wellspring. 
  • $20 provides taxi fare for a domestic violence victim to get to court 
  • $50 helps a family with their first week of groceries as they move into a violence-free home 
  • $200 provides legal advocacy so a domestic violence victim can access an order of protection, and  
  • $500 provides 3 days of prevention programs in a local high school reducing the incidence of dating violence and sexual assault for our youth.  
Click here to make a one-time or a recurring donation to Wellspring.


Whether you care about saving the manatees, bringing music to disadvantaged neighborhoods, or ending relationship and sexual abuse, thanks for caring and sharing this holiday season by supporting your favorite charity.
 
 












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