Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


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This Thanksgiving pass the pumpkin pie, but not …


This Thanksgiving pass the pumpkin pie... but not alcohol to underage drinkers
 
 
 
 
Did you know that 28% of adults think it's okay for high schoolers to drink alcohol? 
 
 
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we want to bring up a very dangerous topic - allowing teens to drink under your watch. It's not cool, it's not safe, and as a reminder, underage drinking is illegal. 
 
Believe it or not, teens yearn for the special time they spend with their families around the holidays, so don't neglect it - cherish it and keep it sober. 
 
 
 
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For more sobering facts about underage drinking and tips on how to curb this trend, visit TimeToFaceTheFacts.com.
 
 
Funding was made possible (in part) by Grant Number 5U79SP01556 from SAMHSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
 

This Thanksgiving pass the pumpkin pie, but not …


This Thanksgiving pass the pumpkin pie... but not alcohol to underage drinkers
 
 
 
 
Did you know that 28% of adults think it's okay for high schoolers to drink alcohol? 
 
 
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we want to bring up a very dangerous topic - allowing teens to drink under your watch. It's not cool, it's not safe, and as a reminder, underage drinking is illegal. 
 
Believe it or not, teens yearn for the special time they spend with their families around the holidays, so don't neglect it - cherish it and keep it sober. 
 
 
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
For more sobering facts about underage drinking and tips on how to curb this trend, visit TimeToFaceTheFacts.com.
 
 
Funding was made possible (in part) by Grant Number 5U79SP01556 from SAMHSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
 

What’s Important About November 25th?

Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. Globally, violence against women is a pandemic problem that encompasses domestic violence, rape, trafficking, female genital mutilation, and other forms of oppression. Barriers to healthcare and education perpetuate the oppression of women in many third world countries.

The United Nations had declared today, and every November 25th, International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Want to know more? Visit their website to learn more and to find out what you can do to help.

What’s Important About November 25th?

Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. Globally, violence against women is a pandemic problem that encompasses domestic violence, rape, trafficking, female genital mutilation, and other forms of oppression. Barriers to healthcare and education perpetuate the oppression of women in many third world countries.

The United Nations had declared today, and every November 25th, International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Want to know more? Visit their website to learn more and to find out what you can do to help.

Talking Amid the Landmines

I've been following the heated discussions generated by Emily Yoffe's article in Slate about college binge drinking and sexual assault. She reignited some familiar debates about victim blaming and ignoring the actions of the rapist. Some writers such as Washington Post columnist, Ruth Marcus,  came to Yoffe's defense, others question the validity of our focus on alcohol as a factor. There's truth in both sides and this isn't a new discussion. I'm sometimes asked why we don't do more work to prevent people from raping rather than to educate victims about how to be safe. It's a good question. We do talk to youth about how having sex with someone who says no or is too intoxicates to consent is rape. We talk a lot about validating consent before proceeding. We also talk about being an ally and intervening if you see something happening that's not right (like taking a drunk girl up to your dorm room.) But frankly, other than educating it's difficult to create prevention programs that keep someone from choosing to assault someone.

Talking about sexual assault prevention is full of landmines (denial, resistance, flippancy)... but one of the most potent landmines comes from an unexpected source-women. Why? Because when we talk to groups about sexual assault prevention, we'd be remiss if we didn't talk abut the association between drinking and sexual victimization. Yet some women feel that talking about that association sounds like victim blaming.

Over half of all sexual assault involve alcohol (some studies place the percentages even higher.) And the risk is especially high when there is excessive alcohol consumption.in which the victim is so incapacitated that she(he) is unable to consent. Often these situations happen at parties and the assailant has also been drinking to excess, undoubtedly resulting in reduced inhibitions and poor judgment.  So when we talk with youth about sexual violence prevention we do talk about the risks of intoxication... knowing we'll detonate some landmines. Women often become very upset that by we're blaming the victim... not at all. We're reminding them that if they drink to a level that they can't look out for themselves, they're at risk of becoming a target for sexual violence. They aren't to blame for the assault in any way. The consequence for a night of overindulgence should be a hangover ... not being raped. But we do mention the connection between alcohol and sexual violence because it's important to know what you can do to increase your safety. It's also important to know that if you were drunk and raped... it's not your fault... you shouldn't feel ashamed... and you are entitled to our legal system holding the assailant accountable for the rape. It's equally important that we tell young men that not only is it not cool to take advantage of a drunk girl... it's a crime. The roots of sexual violence re much deeper than a bottle of tequila or a keg, but sometimes alcohol brings those roots to the surface.

Talking Amid the Landmines

I've been following the heated discussions generated by Emily Yoffe's article in Slate about college binge drinking and sexual assault. She reignited some familiar debates about victim blaming and ignoring the actions of the rapist. Some writers such as Washington Post columnist, Ruth Marcus,  came to Yoffe's defense, others question the validity of our focus on alcohol as a factor. There's truth in both sides and this isn't a new discussion. I'm sometimes asked why we don't do more work to prevent people from raping rather than to educate victims about how to be safe. It's a good question. We do talk to youth about how having sex with someone who says no or is too intoxicates to consent is rape. We talk a lot about validating consent before proceeding. We also talk about being an ally and intervening if you see something happening that's not right (like taking a drunk girl up to your dorm room.) But frankly, other than educating it's difficult to create prevention programs that keep someone from choosing to assault someone.

Talking about sexual assault prevention is full of landmines (denial, resistance, flippancy)... but one of the most potent landmines comes from an unexpected source-women. Why? Because when we talk to groups about sexual assault prevention, we'd be remiss if we didn't talk abut the association between drinking and sexual victimization. Yet some women feel that talking about that association sounds like victim blaming.

Over half of all sexual assault involve alcohol (some studies place the percentages even higher.) And the risk is especially high when there is excessive alcohol consumption.in which the victim is so incapacitated that she(he) is unable to consent. Often these situations happen at parties and the assailant has also been drinking to excess, undoubtedly resulting in reduced inhibitions and poor judgment.  So when we talk with youth about sexual violence prevention we do talk about the risks of intoxication... knowing we'll detonate some landmines. Women often become very upset that by we're blaming the victim... not at all. We're reminding them that if they drink to a level that they can't look out for themselves, they're at risk of becoming a target for sexual violence. They aren't to blame for the assault in any way. The consequence for a night of overindulgence should be a hangover ... not being raped. But we do mention the connection between alcohol and sexual violence because it's important to know what you can do to increase your safety. It's also important to know that if you were drunk and raped... it's not your fault... you shouldn't feel ashamed... and you are entitled to our legal system holding the assailant accountable for the rape. It's equally important that we tell young men that not only is it not cool to take advantage of a drunk girl... it's a crime. The roots of sexual violence re much deeper than a bottle of tequila or a keg, but sometimes alcohol brings those roots to the surface.

Keeping it simple

Domestic violence encompasses much more than physical abuse...in fact a relationship can be highly abusive without any physical violence. But people often have difficulty identifying abuse when it's not physical. Why is it important to recognize abusive behaviors? Because domestic violence is a pattern of power and control... and over time the abusive behaviors tend to escalate in frequency and intensity. 

The NYC Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence has launched an awareness campaign The 5 Signs You're in an Abusive Relationship. It's a simple, concise and memorable. Take the time to read it... the information could help someone you know. It may even save a life.

Keeping it simple

Domestic violence encompasses much more than physical abuse...in fact a relationship can be highly abusive without any physical violence. But people often have difficulty identifying abuse when it's not physical. Why is it important to recognize abusive behaviors? Because domestic violence is a pattern of power and control... and over time the abusive behaviors tend to escalate in frequency and intensity. 

The NYC Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence has launched an awareness campaign The 5 Signs You're in an Abusive Relationship. It's a simple, concise and memorable. Take the time to read it... the information could help someone you know. It may even save a life.

Silent Shame– We Can Break that Silence

It's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so I'm speaking with a lot of people about the issue.Last week I spoke on the phone with Saratoga Today reporter Patricia Older. I had a week off work so I'm a bit backlogged on my reading. I just picked up last week's Saratoga Today and read Patricia's article, Domestic Violence-- The Silent Shame... and it took my breath away. She poignantly captures the fear, the shock, and the lingering sense of danger even after leaving the relationship.

After recounting Erica's horrific story of abuse, Patricia Older writes:
 Domestic violence is that dirty little secret
we don’t want anyone to know about when it happens to us.
The abused and abuser usually go through great lengths to hide
what is happening in their lives—
they hide the bruises, the loud, out-of-control arguments, the threats, the violence.
It knows no social, cultural or economic boundaries and comes in many forms—
social isolation, threats, financial control, physical abuse.

What you can do:
Domestic violence thrives in the shadows of secrecy. Help to bring it out of the shadows. Talk about this crime that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men. Talk to your children about the red flags of abuse, talk with friends, and if you're concerned about someone in your life, talk with them about your concerns and let them know there is help. It's hard to start that conversation, but bringing the topic of relationship abuse into the light decreases the stigma an abuse victim feels. Each time you talk about domestic violence, you bring light to this issue... and each time you talk about it the words become easier to say. So today, have a conversation with someone...anyone.



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