Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Prevention Education in the Community

Throughout the month of June DVRC partnered with local school districts to provide prevention education concerning date and acquaintance rape.  Over the span of several weeks, DVRC staff spent several hours each with over 200 high school students in Ballston Spa and South Glens Falls to present the ‘Rape or Regret’ program.   The program, produced by the Ballston Area Community Allies, presents in a very realistic way, how teenage sexual assault can happen.   Viewers hear testimony of Tonya (the complainant), Ryan (the defendant), their attorneys, and many witnesses as the case unfolds.  Following the showing, DVRC staff work with the viewers to help them better understand sexual assault and learn some prevention strategies.  Feedback from recent viewers: “it was very realistic” and “I liked how it took a situation that could very easily happen to kids our age and showed a very real consequence”.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 44% of sexual assaults happen to women under the age of 18, 80% occur when a woman is under the age of 30, and ages 12 -34 are at the highest risk.

Rape or Regret is a program offered by DVRC to groups in the Saratoga County Community.  If you are interested in learning more, or potentially hosting a showing and discussion, please contact us at 518-583-0280.

Click below to view a preview of the film.

 

Consent… Say It or Sing It… but Get It

Consent...we need to give the word more attention. Aretha took a word and gave it some great lyrics and an unforgettable melody... and made it memorable R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I wish someone would do the same for 'CONSENT'.

Some rapists quite knowingly sexually attack a victim against their will. Consent isn't even a consideration. But many sexual assaults aren't such blatant attacks. Instead they center on the issue of consent. Was one individual too incapacitated to give consent? Did she (or he) consent to certain acts, but not give consent to proceed further?  Was one individual not of an age to consent to sex?

You'd be surprised how often there's miscommunications... or no communications... about consent. Colleges have policies and trainings for students on obtaining consent as part of orientation... some even require partners to obtain written consent before sex. How is something that seems so basic so problematic?

 Today I watched a parenting video that talks about how even good parents can unwittingly teach their kids that consent isn't important. From simple things like tickling your kid even as they say no to expecting kids to hug relatives at family gatherings, in small ways we undermine their understanding of consent. Darcy Conway gives parents tips to encourage their children to be comfortable with saying no or yes... because practicing those skills when they're little will make giving consent more familiar when they're teens.

If you didn't get this message when you were 5 it's not too late. Here's a video of a young lad, with some entertaining and wise words about sex and consent. I love some of his words of wisdom, but what's even more fun is his honest engaging manner (so I wonder if he can sing?):


"Ask for consent.It kinda ruins the flow 
but it's the right thing to do"

"Just because someone says yes the first time 
doesn't automatically make it yes every time"

"Everybody always has a choice" 




Tuesday is Good News Day

I named this blog Shine a Light for 2 reasons: 1) to bring more awareness of the issues of relationship and sexual abuse, bringing them out of the shadows and into the light, and 2) to have a forum for the  positive things being done to create social change.


This weekend I was pondering what to post about this coming week, and said to my family, "I can't think of anything current to write about next week. My son said. "Seeing that you write about rape and domestic violence, it's a good thing  when you run out of things to write about, right?" A sage observation, that reminded me of the second goal of the blog-- shining a light  on the positive. I've often wished that the news was 50% of what we typically see on the news (the bad stuff)  and 50% about the good works being done. Why? Because I think when we're inundated with negative messages we become desensitized. Conversely, I also feel that if we were exposed more to all  the wonderful caring acts that are being doe very day we'd be  inspired to do good.


So in that light, I'm declaring Tuesday as Good News Day. So this week,  here's  a fun video of a Chicago  college student  who gives strangers' days a lift with 'drive by compliments'. And if you're thinking about how you might use compliments or praise to inspire, here's some info from  research  studies on how to use praise effectively with your kids (as well as what doesn't work  so well.) I found the cultural differences in valuing praise very interesting.




Your kid does this 3,339 times a month…

Nancy Lubin believes "it might be the only way to communicate with a kid."


Technology can change the way we interact with the world. I remember having a pen pal as a kid. I'd send her a letter and wait  weeks for a reply. At first, each day after school I'd  go to the mailbox expectantly, later I'd think about her once in a while, then just when I'd lost interest I'd get a letter out of the blue that started out, "Sorry it's taken me so long to write."  and went on telling me about her 3 weeks at horseback riding camp, the boring family vacation, and a new puppy (she'd send pictures of him after they finished the 36 exposure roll of film in the camera and had it developed. About 6 weeks later,  I'd start a letter back with the words "Sorry it's taken so long..."


Today my kid would send a friend a pic from her phone as she was jumping hurdles on her horse and a video of her puppy trying to climb the stairs to her bedroom that first night in his new home- heck they might even Skype and let the pups have an adorable bark fest.


Technology has opened up new ways of  finding information and communicating. Sometimes we complain about it, "Everyone in the house is plugged into some device.", but  the reason we use these devices is they work  for us. Here's one way that texting has opened up new opportunities for youth to get help with serious issues affecting them. It also can give us real  time data  on these issues so we  can more effectively respond. That phone in your back pocket is a really powerful tool.



Another Everyday Hero… by Way of Potato Skins

Tuesday is a great day for a feel good story.  

I loved this story about how one restaurant owner reacted to a customer's comment that his waitresses should show more skin. He was offended, but he didn't just gripe about it or berate the person who posted the comment. 

He did something to make a strong and memorable statement about such flippant sexism... that it's not anonymous-- it affects the women in our lives, our sisters, wives, daughters and mothers.  And through his creative response to the comment he drew the connection between sexism and sexual violence. What I most love about the story is his response was done with such humor that it got its message across in a way that builds bridges rather than creating divides.

Pete Seeger said "I think the world will be saved by millions of small things." I agree with him. Hats off to one more everyday hero.

And if reading this post has your tummy growling, here's a link to some creative potato skin recipes.

Another Everyday Hero… by Way of Potato Skins

Tuesday is a great day for a feel good story.  

I loved this story about how one restaurant owner reacted to a customer's comment that his waitresses should show more skin. He was offended, but he didn't just gripe about it or berate the person who posted the comment. 

He did something to make a strong and memorable statement about such flippant sexism... that it's not anonymous-- it affects the women in our lives, our sisters, wives, daughters and mothers.  And through his creative response to the comment he drew the connection between sexism and sexual violence. What I most love about the story is his response was done with such humor that it got its message across in a way that builds bridges rather than creating divides.

Pete Seeger said "I think the world will be saved by millions of small things." I agree with him. Hats off to one more everyday hero.

And if reading this post has your tummy growling, here's a link to some creative potato skin recipes.

Why Would Someone Feel Guilty if it Wasn’t Their Fault?

Sexual assault survivors often blame themselves ,at least in part, for the rape. That blame can keep them from reporting the crime to police, can prevent them from telling anyone, and can make them question all their relationships. They continue to question themselves no matter how much a friend or an advocate tells them, "It doesn't matter that you were _______  (drinking, out late, wearing a short skirt, flirting... you fill in the relevant words), you are not to blame for the rape." 


From the outside people may question why a victim would feel guilty if (s)he wasn't at least partially responsible. To them self-blame is may indicate that this wasn't  a sexual assault at all, or even that the victim is making up the story. Yet self-blame, guilt, and doubt are all totally normal and expected responses to sexual victimization.


For a new perspective on  why these responses are actually adaptive (*at least in the short-term) check out this Upworthy doodle by psychologist Nina Burrowes. She draws cartoons that help people to understand sexual abuse and recover. Yes, there are good reasons why  victims blame themselves... it helps them recover. 


If  you or someone you care about
has experienced relationship or sexual abuse, there is help.
You Are Not Alone.

DVRC can help; call us at 518-583-0280 for an appointment
or call the 24/7 hotline at 518-584-8188

What do you wish was NO MORE?

Blaming...ignorance... excuses... bystanding?


Millions of people have joined the NO MORE movement  to end relationship and sexual abuse. Watch this video  to see the world they envision. It can happen if we work together.


Why should I care?

The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this:
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
  • 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.
  • 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape.
  • 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual victimization in their lives.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.
These are not numbers. They’re our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, co-workers and friends. They’re the person you confide in most at work, the guy you play basketball with, the people in your book club, your poker buddy, your teenager’s best friend – or your teen, herself. The silence and shame must end for good.

There’s still so much to be done…by everyday heroes

As we're approaching Independence Day, I find myself  reflecting on how this country began. People who wanted a better world with freedom and equality took a risk and came to a strange land. Those leaders shared their vision with others and took a very public stand against oppression.

In every era in history there are examples of misuse of power, inhumanity, and greed... but there are also always individuals who envision a better tomorrow and work to make the world better. Sometimes they are famous leaders... far more often they're ordinary people making a difference in their community, influencing those they connect with in their day-to-day lives.

I just watched a video of high school boys who took a class on feminism. They talk  about how  feminism isn't just about women's rights and how because of the class they now view the world through a different lens and are committed to making a difference. I love what one 12th grader said at 3:26, "I'm not afraid to change my silence into action." Could any inspirational leader have been a more eloquent role model? So as you're  looking to the skies dazzled by the brilliant explosions of color, think  about the everyday heroes you know who also inspire us with their passion, vision and example.






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