Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Putting Awareness to Work

I often laugh that I can't keep up with all the days of recognition, "Today was National Bacon Day... Hug a Kitten Day...Organize Your Closet Day". I usually find out about these days of recognition, after the fact. You'd think it would be easier to keep up with the recognition months and their associated colors. Not always. In addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month (pink ribbons) and Domestic Violence Awareness Month (purple ribbons), October is also the month dedicated to awareness of: Physical Therapy , Eczema, Alzheimer's, Black History, Bullying Prevention, Cybersecurity, Disability Employment, Fire Prevention, Information Literacy, Italian American Heritage, Hispanic Heritage, Work and Family, Polish American Heritage, LGBTQ History, Raynaud's Awareness', Down Syndrome, Infant Loss and Miscarriage, Dwarfism,  Energy Awareness. Every one of these things is important and can be life-defining, but with such a  dizzying array does awareness become meaningless?


I don't think so. I know
that as someone sees an article about domestic violence, or an awareness ribbon on a car that he/she will realize they're not alone and may reach out for help. Just picking up the phone is the first step to changing their life (and perhaps even saving their life). I know that as we talk to a community group about our mission, someone will gain a better understanding of the obstacles to leaving abuse. Domestic violence is a silent and mostly invisible epidemic in our country.


Throughout the month, I'll be offering ways you can raise awareness, highlighting innovative partnerships, and discussing domestic violence in more depth to increase understanding .  Domestic violence advocates alone cannot end domestic violence. We need our whole community supporting us in that mission, not just in October, but throughout the year... but October is a good place to start. So learn about domestic violence, talk about it, notice it... awareness is the first step to ending it.










Are You Aware?



October 1st is the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Some may ask why we need a month to raise awareness of domestic violence. We’ve all heard of it, right? Yes… and no. Most people in Saratoga County aren’t aware that domestic violence is the #2 violent crime in our county. Most aren’t aware that domestic violence in the primary cause of family homelessness. And people are continually shocked to learn that domestic violence is a primary cause of homicide in Saratoga County (in fact 100% of homicides from 2010-2013 were due to domestic violence).
"[Wellspring’s] services made me realize that although things are rough, you do what’s best for your children and everything works out. DV counseling and shelter saved my life and my children."


Many people continue to think of domestic violence as primarily physical abuse. Often a caller to our hotline will start with, “A friend told me to call, but I’m not sure I should be calling you… I’ve never been hit.” In fact, many highly abusive relationships may have little or no physical abuse. However, living each day with psychological abuse, financial control, social isolation, threats and intimidation or sexual victimization can be far more devastating than the black eye we so often see on a poster about domestic violence. learn more about the various forms of domestic violence.


Most people are surprised to hear about the prevalence of domestic violence. During their lifetime,  1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are affected by domestic violence. Wellspring's hotline responds to an average of 1,400 calls/year and we assist ~1,000 survivors of abuse each year with free and confidential services ranging from legal advocacy, counseling and crisis intervention, to employment assistance, financial literacy, case management, a Safe Pet program and even a supportive housing program.   Sometimes the biggest barriers to leaving abuse involve fears about being able to provide food on the table and a roof overhead for the family. Wellspring helps people overcome these barriers so they can live free from fear… but also have housing and economic stability.  

[Wellspring] supported me and helped me when I was going through a very tough moment in my life. They were there for me when I needed someone to talk, to advise me how to get help, supporting me during the court days.

The staff were also always nice and helpful with my son. They made our stay as easy as possible. They supported us with summer camp for day care when I could not afford it so I could keep working. 

When someone is living in an abusive home, it can be hard to imagine how to break free. It can be hard to believe that life can be different. Each day we see the courage and strength… and relief… as we work with survivors to create a new future.
 
If you or someone you know has experienced an abusive relationship, you are not alone. Call our hotline at 518.584.8188.
 
For more information about Wellspring's services visit www.wellspringcares.org 

Girls Night Fundraiser

Join Wellspring for

Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends,

A Girls’ Night Out

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Longfellow’s Hotel, Restaura
nt and Conference Center

6:00 PM

Proceeds to benefit Wellspring (formerly DVRC)

dreamstime_11247812 [Converted]Join us for a girls’ night out complete with couture, pampering, great food and drink, and shopping.   The evening will include a fashion show featuring local vendors Violet’s of Saratoga, Spoken Boutique, Encounter, Lifestyles of Saratoga, and Frivolous.  The proceeds will support the work of Wellspring with the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Ticket Prices
Prior to the Event: $50
At the Door: $75

Buy Your Tickets Online HERE, or call the office at 518-583-0280.

 

Summer Camps

Wellspring Uses Summer Camps and Recreation to Support Both Children and Parents

In a given year, as many as 50 children and teens will be residents in either Wellspring’s domestic violence shelter or supportive housing program, NewView. Children and teens are affected by domestic violence and relationship abuse as much as adults. Just witnessing violence in the home can have lasting effects on children and teenagers. As with any abusive relationship, survivors can experience confusion, anger, and depression, which makes specialized approaches to younger survivors paramount.

To help the youth in such situations, Wellspring staff work to provide a small level of comfort, familiarity, and fun thanks in large part to the support of local donors and the Hawley Foundation.  Over the course of the 2015 summer, Wellspring staff worked with clients to send their children to a summer camp or recreational program as well as providing youth outings to local recreational services, and in some instances, daycare.  The staff were able to provide over 8 weeks of camp and 15 outings to 10 children.

Beyond providing a summer of fun, these programs are also a benefit to the parents, as they work to break free of domestic violence.  With this support, the parents are given a greater opportunity to become financially stable, to advance in their jobs so they can attain a living wage.  This livelihood is what provides the stability that keeps the family from returning to abuse—allowing them to build loving homes where children no longer live in fear.

 

About Wellspring

Wellspring provides hotline, emergency counseling, legal advocacy, comprehensive case management, support, information, and accompaniment during sexual assault forensic exams, and other service to more than 1,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year.  At Wellspring we believe that the best approach to ending interpersonal violence is prevention.  To help address this need, we invest in volunteers, prevention programs, and community outreach.  For more information, please contact our office at 518.583.0280.

Paws for Peace

This is my loveable boy Andy. He's hoping you and your pooch will join him for a walk on Saturday, September 26th in Saratoga Springs' Congress Park to raise awareness about Wellspring's Safe Pet Partnership. It's a family friendly event. Beginning at 10 am we'll have demonstrations about:



  • Walking your dog (rather than him walking you)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Holistic veterinary treatments
  • Doggie agility course
  • Search and rescue dog demonstrations
  • Blessing of the pets
... and $5 pawdicures (nail clipping).
At 11 am, pooches and humans will get a little exercise with a walk around the park (~1 mile).

Big and small... bring them all



The event is free to humans and $5 for pooches (they'll get some goodies for attending.) The proceeds benefit Wellspring's services to help all victims of domestic violence... including our furry, feathered and finned family members.


If you're sad because you don't have a pooch to accompany you, the Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be there with some pups  looking for their forever homes.

5th Annual Pooch Parade

Calling all pooches!!

Join us for the 5th Annual Pooch Parade
Saturday, September 269d27eb95-7130-40c5-97bf-09668b8b2508
Congress Park, Saratoga Springs
(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 (formerly DVRC) 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 Here.

 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

No Matter Your Major, This Lesson is Fundmental

Summer is over and the kids have headed back to school. For some that means the first ride on the school bus (and a day of hopeful anxiety for Mom and Dad until dinnertime when they hear all about new friends, teachers and the dreaded homework assignments.) Others parents may have may have dropped otheir teenager off to a campus in another state, living away  from home for the first time (and Mom and Dad will have an even longer period of hopeful anxiety until their son or daughter returns home at Thanksgiving a for a long overdue hug.)


Governor Cuomo's Enough is Enough campaign is working to reduce the frequency of one of college's common, but rarely discussed concerns during the first weeks on campus- sexual assault.  All schools in NYS are educating students about affirmative consent (the standard is no longer whether he/she said no... it's whether he or she said yes). Today's front page Saratogian article, The Talk is Now Part of the Curriculum describes the unique and  memorable ways colleges across the country are finding  to deliver this message (Would you like a cup of tea?


Locally Wellspring and Skidmore College are actively collaborating to increase awareness, to reduce sexual victimization, and to provide access to students who may require crisis or support services. We have an advocate on campus 3 days a week and our prevention educator will be conducting outreach and awareness initiatives weekly in various venues throughout the campus. 




Related Posts:
http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-friend-zone-redefined.html
http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2015/04/1-in-5.html
http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2014/08/college-begins-in-just-few-week.html

More Moxie

After my last blog post, I've had several questions about the Moxie Swap scheduled for April 16, 2016 and the Pay it Forward events that are happening now. So here's a video from Brandon Dewyea , who is the genius behind the Moxie Swap explaining it more.

 
 
 
 
In a nutshell, there are regular events where local business owners are inviting women to come for a ladies night out, to learn about the Moxie Swap and Wellspring, and to donate items for next April's event. I was at a wonderful event at Saratoga Tea and Honey last night- massages, essential oils, jewelry... and some great door prizes including yoga classes and an individual photo shoot with Deborah Neary. If  you're wondering about upcoming events visit the Moxie Swap event page

Clean Out Your Closet then Enjoy SomeTea and Honey

And if you've got some items in your closet that don't bring you joy anymore, bring them with you and donate them to a Moxie Swap (What's a Moxie Swap? Keep reading).


This Thursday, September 3rd, join  Wellspring for an empowering evening event at Saratoga Tea and Honey. We've got jewelry, massages, essential oils and, of course, delicious tea and honey. We'll also have an exhibit by Saratoga artist Deborah Neary whose specialty is photographing women in nature and capturing the essence of their strength, beauty and connection to the earth. Sound  interesting? Watch this interview with  Look TV's Jessie Jackson to learn more about the Woman in Nature exhibit, the event at Saratoga Tea and Honey, and laearn about Moxie Swap.


Please note the event at Saratoga Tea and Honey is a free to attend. Some of the services have a small fee.








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