Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Want to Feel Better Today… Try One of These

Helping others fosters happiness. If you want to be happy, do something to make someone else happy. it's that simple... and the effects are long-lasting. Need some ideas? Here are 25 to get you started.

I have a silly ritual. Whenever I see a penny on the ground, if it's tails up I flip it over and leave it
there. I like to think that the next person who happens by will not only be one cent richer, but their walk will be a bit jauntier because they've found a lucky penny. And because accepting what's given to you with grace is also important, if the penny is head-ups up, it's mine and I say thanks to the universe for offering me a small blessing. Now I don't have any superstitions that a penny wrong side up is bad luck (a penny is a penny); but I like to think that a tiny gesture may bring a smile to someone's face.

Need more reasons to help others? Did you know volunteering is linked to better health, happiness, self-esteem, and even longevity. One in three adults in the US volunteer, giving us one of the world's highest rates of volunteerism. And according to US News and World report, "communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism." . Click on the link to US News to find out how helping others makes us happy.

Want to Feel Better Today… Try One of These

Helping others fosters happiness. If you want to be happy, do something to make someone else happy. it's that simple... and the effects are long-lasting. Need some ideas? Here are 25 to get you started.

I have a silly ritual. Whenever I see a penny on the ground, if it's tails up I flip it over and leave it
there. I like to think that the next person who happens by will not only be one cent richer, but their walk will be a bit jauntier because they've found a lucky penny. And because accepting what's given to you with grace is also important, if the penny is head-ups up, it's mine and I say thanks to the universe for offering me a small blessing. Now I don't have any superstitions that a penny wrong side up is bad luck (a penny is a penny); but I like to think that a tiny gesture may bring a smile to someone's face.

Need more reasons to help others? Did you know volunteering is linked to better health, happiness, self-esteem, and even longevity. One in three adults in the US volunteer, giving us one of the world's highest rates of volunteerism. And according to US News and World report, "communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism." . Click on the link to US News to find out how helping others makes us happy.

It’s a National Problem that’s Only Getting Worse

It's basic, waking up and knowing nothing bad is going to happen to you.
 
There is elder abuse occurring in every zip code in the US.
 
 
Elder abuse is a national problem that's only going to get worse with the aging of the population.
 
Those are the opening word of this eye-opening video about elder abuse. As the documentary shows, family members and caregivers are often perpetrators of elder abuse... and the it's often difficult to identify when an elder is being abused. An elder may become a prisoner in their own home... captive and abused or neglected by a child or grandchild.
 
To identify it, we first need to understand what it is. Watch this video; it's the first step toward ending elder abuse. We owe it to them.
 
 

2 Sons Plead Guillty to Murdering their Parents… Within the Same Week


Just one week ago the Saratogian covered the story about a son who bludgeoned his mother... and I remarked we're fortunate these types of crimes are rare in our area. Maybe not as rare as we'd hope... today's Saratogian reports that a son in Rensselaer County pled yesterday guilty to bludgeoning his mother and father.

Any death due to abuse is one death too many. But let's not be complacent about elder abuse until there's a horrific incident like the two that have been adjudicated in the past week. Many more elders live in fear, are neglected, are financially exploited... but we're unaware because their stories do not become headline news.

Earlier this year Leadership Saratoga explored the issue of elder abuse in Saratoga County and launched an initiative to increase public awareness. Click below to hear what Jackie Hakes learned as she participate in the project.



What can you do?
Educate yourself about elder abuse.

Be aware of vulnerable elders in your community. Check in on elder family members and be alert for signs of neglect, financial control, or isolation. Often we assume that as long as there's a family member looking out for them, all is well. It may not occur to us that the family member may be abusing them... but 90% of elders are abused by family members.

Let's also remember that most family members who care for an elder are concerned, kind and supportive; they are doing an act of love. So you can also show your support by offering caregivers respite. Even an hour or two is a welcome break.

Tomorrow;
In their words. Stories  from elders about how they were abused.

Related Posts:





Skip the Sale; Don’t Buy the Economy Size

Here's a parenting message you may not have heard . 
This information could save a teen's life.

Seasoned hikers know he importance of carrying a light pack. An old hiker's adage is "An ounce on the scale is a pound on the trail." I've known several hikers who've found that that a few pounds and an extra decade or two also take their toll on the joints after a couple of days on the trail. And some of those hikers have ended up in the emergency department with stomach and liver problems from accidently popping too much Tylenol to combat aches  resulting from the nexus of middle age and mountain miles. So I'm well aware that acetaminophen can be dangerous when misused. But until today I thought the risks were from accidental overdose. I never imagined this medicine cabinet staple might be the drug of choice for a suicide attempt.


The Times Union's Claire Hughes, reports that despondent teens often turn to acetaminophen when attempting suicide because it's readily available in sufficient quantities, inexpensive, and  right there in the family medicine cabinet. Her report quotes Dr. Heather Long of Albany Medical Center Hospital, "Acetaminophen is the most frequent pharmacological agent taken in intentional overdoses." 

Desperate actions are sometimes impulsive; don't have supplies on hand, unlocked that could be lethal.




Skip the Sale; Don’t Buy the Economy Size

Here's a parenting message you may not have heard . 
This information could save a teen's life.

Seasoned hikers know he importance of carrying a light pack. An old hiker's adage is "An ounce on the scale is a pound on the trail." I've known several hikers who've found that that a few pounds and an extra decade or two also take their toll on the joints after a couple of days on the trail. And some of those hikers have ended up in the emergency department with stomach and liver problems from accidently popping too much Tylenol to combat aches  resulting from the nexus of middle age and mountain miles. So I'm well aware that acetaminophen can be dangerous when misused. But until today I thought the risks were from accidental overdose. I never imagined this medicine cabinet staple might be the drug of choice for a suicide attempt.


The Times Union's Claire Hughes, reports that despondent teens often turn to acetaminophen when attempting suicide because it's readily available in sufficient quantities, inexpensive, and  right there in the family medicine cabinet. Her report quotes Dr. Heather Long of Albany Medical Center Hospital, "Acetaminophen is the most frequent pharmacological agent taken in intentional overdoses." 

Desperate actions are sometimes impulsive; don't have supplies on hand, unlocked that could be lethal.




Men’s Issue… Women’s Issue? Not the Point


Statistics. Sometimes they reveal the truth. Sometimes they obfuscate. Sometimes they're just confusing.  

Over the past few days I've blogged about male domestic violence victims and the unique challenges they face. I've also blogged about domestic homicide. For years domestic violence advocates have stated that domestic violence disproportionately affects women. Some people question that assertion... and cite valid data. In a landmark study, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, notes that 53% of persons who had experienced physical violence in an intimate relationship were men. Whoa… so is this a women’s issue or a men’s issue?  

The study cautions about making assumptions across groups based on one single data point, because “the contrasts between the experiences of men and women sharpen when we look at the specific forms of IPV, the severity of the physical violenceexperienced, and the impact of the violence:

·         While 92% of male victims experienced onlyphysical violence, 36% of women experienced more than one form, including 12.5% of female victims who experienced all three (rape, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner). 

·         1 in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, while 1 in 7 men have experienced the same.  

·         1in 6 women have been stalked during their lifetime, compared to 1 in 19 men.  

·         Over 80% of women who reported rape, physical violence, and/ or stalking by an intimate partner also reported one or more negative impacts (e.g., fear, injury, missed school/ work, etc), whereas, about 35% of men who experienced these forms of violence by an intimate reported an impact. 

So severity of abuse and the impact of the violence factor in. Are there gender differences when we look at the issue with these factors in mind? Or as the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services 2012 reports, of the:
104 female homicide victims 57.7% were domestic homicides, compared to
532 male homicide victims, only 2.6% were attributable to  domestic violence. 

Michael Virtanen of the Chronicle sums it up the report more succinctly, 

“ the person most likely to kill a woman in NYS is
 her partner or ex.” 

So is this a women’s or a men’s issue? That’s not the point. It’s a social issue that affects us all.

No one deserves to be abused.
All victims deserve access to support services.
Let’s work together toward a community free from relationship or sexual abuse... for all people.

Nothing Would Indicate that She Was In Danger

Carol Stanford and Joshua McWain. They took long walks together. He had problems, but she looked after him. She was the mother of this 27 year old man. Some neighbors say they fought; others say they were close.

No one expected that he would bludgeon her to death and bury her body under the shed. That doesn’t happen in Saratoga County. But it did in October 2012. The accused pled guilty last Friday and will be sentenced in September. The murder happened after a fight about chores.

About chores ! Sound unbelievable? According to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, 58% of the 171 domestic homicides in 2011 resulted from an argument.  From the report we also learn that:
· Among all domestic homicides, females accounted for 60.8%  of victims.

· There were 23 elderly victims of domestic homicide, seven were killed by an intimate partner and 16 by other family members.

· The total number of domestic homicides ranged from a low of 131 in 2007 to a high of 171 in 2011

While Saratoga County’s homicide rate is low compared to other counties, we had 2 homicides in 2011, both attributed to domestic violence. 

I was speaking with a friend about a homicide case in an adjacent county. She said, “You talk about domestic violence, but I never imagined it could lead to murder.” Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said the evidence against Joshua McWain was overwhelming and he “had some history of violence, but nothing that would indicate his mother was in danger.”  

And that’s the problem. So often we can’t recognize the danger until it’s far too late. Fortunately domestic homicides are not daily headlines in Saratoga County, but they happen.  Often there have been red flags along the way. Sometimes there’s been a long-standing pattern of abuse. Sometimes the homicide happens when the victim tries to leave the relationship. We never know for certain when an abusive relationship will become lethal.   

I recently read a shocking blog. It’s called IntimateViolenceDeaths in the News,  and it tells the story of victim after victim who has been murdered by a partner. It’s haunting reading. And I’d bet every community says “we never thought that would happen here.” As I read those stories I’m saddened that we didn’t so something earlier to end relationship abuse before there’s such tragedy.  How can we be so complacent about abuse until it reaches the level of murder? The blog opens with a quote that resonates as you read the stories,

Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil
~ Thomas Mann~

Please find out what you can do to help us all to realize the vision of a community without relationship or sexual abuse. Because the unthinkable does happen... even here.

 
 
Related posts:
No MORE
http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2013/03/this-weekend-i-was-wearing-pini-created_11.html

Be  a friend... Help a friend
http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2013/03/be-friend-break-silence.html





She’s Hitting HIM… What Would You Do?

In the jargon of the domestic violence field it's called bystander accountability, but I think the airlines say it much better, "If you see something- Say Something." When DVRC staff are working with kids in prevention education programs, we teach the importance of being an ally and what that means. It doesn't just mean not committing abusive behaviors, or being there when a friend needs to talk. Sometimes it means making the hard decision to publicly intervene when you see injustice. The kids get it... sometimes more than we adults do.
 
Have you ever walked by a bad situation and just pretended not to notice even when you could have done something to help? Why? Lots of reasons. I'm not sure what to do. I've never considered this situation and in the moment indecision leads to avoidance. Sometimes my brain's objections override  that feeling in my gut to do something. Typically my brain says something like:

It's not my business. That's a private matter; I shouldn't get involved., or
What if I do something that makes the situation worse, or
You think somebody would say something. I can't imagine why no one is intervening.

You get the idea. I'll admit I'm as guilty as the next person. I'm embarrassed to say it, but if I see injustice, I  sometimes walk on by. Then I'm often haunted by the lingering feeling of failure... failure to do the right thing to help someone in need. Here's an interesting question. Is my willingness to help gender biased? Here's a video that raises the question is justice gender-biased?

It's shocking to watch. Perplexing to hear the rationale. And  something to think about and remember.

Related Posts:
I Need You to Step In  http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2013/03/i-need-you-to-step-in.html

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