Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

Thinking Outside the Lunchbox


I love it-- thinking outside the box to find creative solutions to everyday problems.  

For Shelters of Saratoga (SOS), the creative approach has provided an opportunity to provide delicious, nutritious meals to the homeless in their emergency homeless shelter while also supporting local youth and inspiring them to become active helping the less fortunate  in their community . 

For several months, students in the BOCES culinary program have been preparing meals for guests at the SOS homeless shelter.   Now they’ve been selected to participate in a nationwide State Farm Neighborhood Assist contest to win $25,000.  Those funds will be used to purchase the ingredients needed for the preparation of meals each weekday for the 32 homeless adults residing at SOS. But they need your votes between April  4 to April 22 to be selected for the $25,000.  

Simply log onto your Facebook account and click on the link below. Then vote "Culinary Kids Caring" until "0 votes remain" (you can vote 10 times with just one visit.)   

VOTE HERE

Sole Survivor…123


Byron R. White was right, Short of homicide, [rape] is the "ultimate violation of self." 
At DVRC we see women and men who have experienced that ultimate violation… and who have survived.  And what do we mean by survive? Each individual’s path to recovery, healing and trust is different. Some may try to just move on with everyday life and put the sexual assault out of their mind… only to have it creep back in weeks, months or even decades later. 
Some may choose to report the crime and through the courts seek a measure of justice for themselves and the hope that their actions will prevent another rape from happening. Sometimes the road to justice itself can be difficult and traumatizing. As Freda Alder said, “Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused.” 
The path from victim to survivor is as individual as the people who have trod those miles. Last year, DVRC provided counseling to 123 such survivors…123.  Some came to us only after long periods of keeping the rape a secret, but found healing once they sought support. Each journey is different. If you or someone you know had been sexually assaulted, you are not alone and we can help. 
DVRC’s Sole Survivorcampaign is a pictorial tribute to the brave souls who have traveled that path from victim to survivor. 123 …it’s just a number, but each pair of shoes represents one person who has experienced that ultimate violation. When I look at the shoes, I cannot help but imagine the person who may have been wearing those shoes, and I begin to think about the people I know and imagine if 123 people I knew had been raped.  And then I realize what a huge number 123 really is, and I want to take action: first to make sure that every victim has access to support… then to work to reduce that number. 
123 is 123 too many.

If you need help or know someone who may, you can call ourhotline 24/7
 518-583-0280
You are not alone


Put Yourself in Her Shoes


Shoes… Can you think of  an apparel item that’s more universally connected to us? Shoes protect us on our journeys. Support us. Keep us warm and dry. And footwear certainly expresses our individualism. Stilettos, hiking boots, flip flops, sneakers… they tell a lot about us.  In our everyday language, the mention of shoes is often a call to empathy and human connection:
             Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.
              Those are going to be hard shoes to fill.

               None of the village’s children have ever even worn shoes.

 


Every pair of shoes  below represents one rape crisis client at DVRC in 2012.

 
Think about it... every pair of shoes represents one rape survivor helped by DVRC  in 2012
When we read in the newspaper about a rape happening, we’re shocked and concerned for our community’s safety, but do we think of that victim and how the assault will change her/his life?  I’m often struck by our desire for the media to tell us more, to answer all our  unanswered questions… I think we forget that there’s a victim out there who  was traumatized by the assault and whose life continues to be impacted every time (s)he watches the evening news, walks to class and sees  a campus safety alert, or overhears a conversation at the water cooler. It’s easy to forget that news reports are about people and that rape changes a person’s life forever.  But when I look at their shoes, I’m reminded.

The wearer knows best where the shoe pinches.

 Irish proverb

Shoes … in Reflection

 
It looks like the piles of shoes at DVRC  that I mentioned in yesterday's post have taken to the streets. If you're pondering what this is about, here's  something to guide your thinking.

The solemnity of the War Memorial in Congress Park, provides the right ambience for this young woman to contemplate the shoes on their first public appearance.

Shoe Obsession.. or Something More?



Shoes! This is a familiar scene in DVRC's offices this week. In fact, we have about 13 piles that look just like this.
 
What's up? Are we cleaning out our closets? Was there a big sale at Shoes-R-Us? Have we hired someone named Imelda? Why are shoes suddenly so important to us?

Check the blog all this week for more info. (Hint: It has nothing to do with April Fools Day.)

Healing the Scars


On April 11ththe Williams Center is hosting the 6th annual Evening of Beauty to benefit Face to Face and DVRC, two organizations committed to helping survivors of domestic violence.  The Evening of Beauty is a terrific gals night out; women return year after year with their friends because it’s so much fun. But the Williams Center doesn’t organize this charity event just to show they can throw a great party. They do it because Dr. Williams and his staff know all too well the scars of an abusive relationship. 

Through Face to Face, a nonprofit organizations whose mission is "Giving Hope, One Face at a Time,"Dr. Williams donates his time and medical expertise as a plastic surgeon to help domestic violence victims heal the physical and emotional scars that endure even after the victim has left the abusive relationship. Without Face to Face,  life would  have ended  for Ilianexy Morales, when the man who professed to love her brutally stabbed her more than 100 time with a butcher’s knife. Face to Face gave her back her life… and this beautiful smile. 

Let’s work to END domestic violence, so no one ever again experiences the brutal suffering that Ilianexy did. You can help support organizations like Face to Face and Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services. And on April 11th you can have a great time while raising funds for these two organizations.

                 Evening of Beauty

Thursday April 11th
5:00 – 8:00 PM
Williams Center
1072 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY

 

Join us for a silent auction (featuring items from BOTOX Cosmetic , Radiesse, Juvederm, Restylane Peels, Spa & Salon Certificates, gift baskets), light refreshments, cooking class, wine tasting, fashion show, giveaways, door prizes and more!

 

$25 pre-registration; $35 at the door
RSVP (518) 786-7000
Proceeds to benefit DVRC of Saratoga County and Face to Face


It’s a Gals Night Out

What's not to love? A night out with your best girlfriends. Shopping, wine, cooking demonstrations, fashion show, jewelry, silent auction, giveaways and door prizes.. And all the proceeds help other women overcome domestic violence. It’s a night on the town to help others.
(And if you need even more reason to come, log into the blog
tomorrow to learn about how your support helped one woman who endured the unthinkable.)
Join us April 11th for an Evening of Beauty
Evening of Beauty
Thursday April 11th
5:00 – 8:00 PM
Williams Center
1072 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY
 
Join us for a silent auction (featuring items from BOTOX Cosmetic , Radiesse, Juvederm, Restylane Peels, Spa & Salon Certificates, gift baskets), light refreshments, cooking class, wine tasting, fashion show, giveaways, door prizes and more!
 
$25 pre-registration; $35 at the door
RSVP (518) 786-7000

Proceeds to benefit DVRC of Saratoga County and Face to Face

Williams Center – Evening of Beauty 2013

An Unforgettable Thank You


I don't know her name. But I'll never forget her words. I think of them whenever spring's first warm rays of sun beat down on my shoulders... and into my heart.

We were at a public event and she took me aside and told me she’d been a client at DVRC. She said she never even thought of herself as a domestic violence victim (she’d never been physically abused), and only came to our agency at  the suggestion of a friend.

She’d been in this relationship for several years and the verbal and emotional abuse just became normal for her,

“Our relationship was like that for so long I didn’t even think about it anymore. It was like the last weeks of winter when it’s been cold and gray for so long you forget what warmth feels like. You forget about green buds on bushes and the colors of flowers. It’s just gray and cold.

Then I came to DVRC and spoke to a counselor and my life changed. I realized my partner’s constant criticism and anger were his problem, not a reflection of me. That day was like that first warm day in spring. You know the day. It’s when you walk outside and look up at the sky then take your sweater off for the first time in so many months… and you bask in the warmth of the sunshine.

Coming to DVRC was the day that ended the longest winter of my life.”

Whenever the first warm days of spring come I think of her words, and give thanks.

§  First I give thanks to her for so eloquently reminding us why we do this work.

§  Then I give thanks to my staff. Every day-- 24 hours a day –they help people through the crisis, help them transform their lives. Hearing stories of abuse day in and day out can be overwhelming. But they do it because they make a difference. This was just one woman. DVRC helps 1,000 people (men, women and children) just like her each year.

§  Lastly, I give thanks that someone out there cared enough about a friend to tell her so and directed her to DVRC.  It takes courage to start that conversation, but think what a difference it made for this woman. If you know of someone who may need help, talk to them. No winter should last forever.

Related post:
Be a Friend. Break the Silence http://maggiefronk.blogspot.com/2013/03/be-friend-break-silence.html


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