Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Don’t Stand By

"Don't stand by...       be an ally."
That's the message 90 youth wanted to convey at last Friday's Bullying Awareness March. This is the 3rd consecutive year the kids have organized this march to bring awareness to the issue of bullying and to bring about change. The youth ranged in age from kindergarteners to youth leaders such as Ballston Spa High School's NCBI students and CAPTAIN's Teen Talk volunteers.


These kids have witnessed bullying, many indicated they've been bullied... but they've also learned about why bulling happens and how they can prevent it or intervene. They talked with community leaders: District Attorney James Murphy III, Ballston Spa School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Dragone, Ballston Spa Mayor  John Romano, and Milton  Supervisor Dan Lewza.  The kids asked pointed questions of our community leaders... on occasion rendering them momentarily speechless as they contemplated the question. The leaders very quickly built a bridge showing the kids they understood the impact of bullying-- sometimes telling their own stories of being bullied when they were young and talking candidly about how that affected them. 
NCBI students work to promote respect at school.

Clearly, Allies can be any age, any size. We're all united by an understanding of how much bullying affects all our youth and a the desire and motivation to end bullying now.

Bullying … redefined




"Bullies are bad people who hurt other kids intentionally."


Does this sound like how a kid might talk about bullying? Actually these are the words I’ve recently heard two very concerned and thoughtful adults use when talking about the problem of bullying. And both times I’ve challenged them to look at the problem differently. Bullying isn’t about bad people…it’s about bad behaviors. Here’s a heartwarming story about a kid that really brings this message home.


Why is it important to make this distinction? It gives us the power to make change. If we recognize that even good people make mistakes we start focusing on being more aware of our words, our deeds, and our intention. I hear a lot of talk about the problem of bullying with kids. And I have to ask myself, “where did they learn these behaviors?’ I turn on the TV and see shows where people’s earnest efforts at cooking, singing and dancing aren’t met with just constructive criticism, but with derisive and intentionally humiliating comments… and that’s part of the “fun” of the show. I read the on-line comments at the end of a web article, or sometimes below a photo; they’re often not spirited debate about the issue but personal attacks. It easy to act like a badass on line… no one knows your identity. Would these people think of themselves as bad people? I doubt it. When we recognize that we all have crossed that line on occasion, we redefine the problem and take a big step toward fixing it.


Bullying … redefined




"Bullies are bad people who hurt other kids intentionally."


Does this sound like how a kid might talk about bullying? Actually these are the words I’ve recently heard two very concerned and thoughtful adults use when talking about the problem of bullying. And both times I’ve challenged them to look at the problem differently. Bullying isn’t about bad people…it’s about bad behaviors. Here’s a heartwarming story about a kid that really brings this message home.


Why is it important to make this distinction? It gives us the power to make change. If we recognize that even good people make mistakes we start focusing on being more aware of our words, our deeds, and our intention. I hear a lot of talk about the problem of bullying with kids. And I have to ask myself, “where did they learn these behaviors?’ I turn on the TV and see shows where people’s earnest efforts at cooking, singing and dancing aren’t met with just constructive criticism, but with derisive and intentionally humiliating comments… and that’s part of the “fun” of the show. I read the on-line comments at the end of a web article, or sometimes below a photo; they’re often not spirited debate about the issue but personal attacks. It easy to act like a badass on line… no one knows your identity. Would these people think of themselves as bad people? I doubt it. When we recognize that we all have crossed that line on occasion, we redefine the problem and take a big step toward fixing it.


Leaving Is Not Easy


The question I’m most often asked about domestic violence is, “Why don’t they leave?” There are lots of reasons: money, fear, the belief that you’re safer if you know what the abuser is doing/thinking, staying together for the benefit of the kids, and love.


Sometimes there’s social pressure to stay together-- from family, friends, and well intentioned acquaintances. From the outside looking in a relationship may look very happy. An abuser may be known as a nice guy...or gal. Those helpful friends and family just may not see or understand the daily torment of living with fear, intimidation and control. Sometimes the pressure can even come from people in the home.  Kids don’t necessarily see the “Abuser”, they see a person they love deeply-- a person they hug and call “Dad”...  or “Mom.”  When the parent who is abused leaves to protect themselves and their family, they aren’t’ necessarily hailed as a hero;  in fact, may get backlash, resistance and  resentment for a long time. Here's the story of a mom who said, "No More." "No More." You'd think some would  have pinned  a medal on her for her courage when she left. That didn't happen back then; in fact she's still apologizing for all the little things she couldn't provide.


But years later there's something she can be really proud of. She raised a daughter with strength, smarts, and gratitude for a mother who , "...healed my wounds, and  made me an independent, hard-working mother who knows what real love feels like." That's way better than a medal.


If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, you're not alone. 
Call, even if you just want to talk and discuss options.
The choices are yours. We can help.
All  services are free and confidential. 518-584-8188

It’s Getting Hard Not to Notice



As we talk with people about the work DVRC does to help victims of domestic violence one of the most frequent comments we hear is, "but that kind of thing doesn't happen that much in Saratoga County, does it?" Unfortunately it does. Our hotline averages 1,700 each year and we assist close to 1,000 victims of abuse. We see men, women and children, all ages, ethnicities and from every area of the county. In fact, domestic violence is the second most frequent violent crime in our county, second only to drunk/drugged driving. It affects families, workplaces, how kids function in school. So why don't we notice it? Is it because it happens inside the walls of a home where we don't see? Is it because victims don't tell anyone until they reach the breaking point? Or is it because we love the vibrant, safe community we call home and don't want to notice anything that tarnishes that image.





In recent news stories we've had three tragic deaths associated with domestic violence. Just a couple of weeks ago a young son who intervened as his mother was assaulted , killed the abuser, and is now in jail pending grand jury because of that tragedy. Just days ago a woman died at home; it's alleged that her husband of 46 years, a former police officer, killed her. Three weeks ago a 22 year old man died after months in a coma from injuries sustained in an accident as he was fleeing police after he was observed assaulting his girlfriend. Most of the time we can manage not to notice the prevalence of domestic violence here in Saratoga County. Lately, that's getting harder. Maybe it's   time to really look... and to work together to END relationship abuse.




If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night.
Rep. Mark Green





Marijuana…long term effects?

Marijuana...medical use? recreational use? 
It's a topic we'll be hearing more of as states adopt relaxed legislation. When considering  decriminalization, a major concern is how will greater accessibility affect usage and consequences among teens? In the teen and young adult years the brain is still developing. Can substance use cause irreversible changes in brain chemistry? This recent study  published in the Journal of Neuroscience points to changes in regions of the brain affecting emotion and motivation.



Find Your Voice

Today I saw a really powerful 29 second video that puts bullying into perspective. It's what we talk to kids about all the time. I  think I'm going to suggest we stop talking to them and just show then this video...it's that good. Got 29 seconds? Watch it now.

A Deeper Meaning for a Warm Spring Day

Yesterday I spent the day in the yard, raking leaves, picking up sticks and delightedly basking in the beautiful warm sunshine. On that first perfect day of spring each year, I remember a gift a former client  gave me almost a decade ago. It wasn't a gift in a package it was a gift of understanding. At DVRC we hear enough people telling us what it was like to feel trapped in an abusive relationship that we can understand what abuse feels like. But this woman helped me to understand what it feels like when the abuse ends. Her imagery was so powerful that I think of her words each spring. Here's what she told me.

A Deeper Meaning for a Warm Spring Day

Yesterday I spent the day in the yard, raking leaves, picking up sticks and delightedly basking in the beautiful warm sunshine. On that first perfect day of spring each year, I remember a gift a former client  gave me almost a decade ago. It wasn't a gift in a package it was a gift of understanding. At DVRC we hear enough people telling us what it was like to feel trapped in an abusive relationship that we can understand what abuse feels like. But this woman helped me to understand what it feels like when the abuse ends. Her imagery was so powerful that I think of her words each spring. Here's what she told me.

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