Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


Shine a Light Blog

Shine a Light Blog

Rockin’ a Purse to Continually Push for Excellence

By now I'm sure you've heard that Saratoga County continues to rank as the #1 healthiest county in NYS. Not content to rest comfortably with those accolades, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded the Healthy Saratoga initiative, bringing together community leaders and seeking guidance from national experts on how we can build on our achievements ... and also address areas that could use improvements. We're looking for innovative models from other communities across the country so we can continue to challenge ourselves and improve. Click here  to hear from Todd Shimkus about why he's, "rockin' a purple purse for Healthy Saratoga."

DeCrescente Distributing is a family owned business that prides itself on giving back to the community. For many years they've been a drop off location for used cell phones that are repurposed as 911 phones to assist domestic violence survivors to be safe at home, at work, and throughout their daily lives. CJ DeCrescente states, "We've heard incredible stories about how your used cell phone can  -literally- save someone's life." Click here to hear CJ's inspiring words about how collecting cell phones has made them aware of domestic violence in our community.

For the last 35 years, Mark Baker has dedicated himself to fostering the vibrancy, culture, community spirit and economic prosperity of Saratoga Springs. As the president of the Saratoga City Center, he oversaw one of the most important economic drivers in our community... one that consistently surpassed performance goals year-after-year. Like Todd and CJ, he's no stranger to pushing past current success to reach even higher. Click here to hear his thoughts on how Wellspring's work can "help make our community even better.' 

Are you inspired by these leaders who challenge us to excellence? We often think the big social issues that plague us are just too challenging for any one person to make a difference... but that's not true. Former District Attorney James Murphy III often told the story of a local domestic violence victim who locked herself in the bathroom during an assault... and hidden in the linen closet was one of those used cell phones that had been donated to be used as a  911 phone. She made that emergency call and the police came as her abuser was breaking through the door to assault her. One business took the initiative to put out the collection box... one person donated their used cell phone instead of tossing it in the trash... so that our advocates could give that phone to a victim as part of a safety plan... and that one phone may very well have a saved a life that night.

This October Wellspring has set it's own big goal... to lead Saratoga County to the #1 ranking in the nation showing that our community is committed to ending relationship and sexual abuse. The Allstate Purple Purse Challenge starts October 2 and ends October 31. Will you help us by leading a fundraising team, setting up an event in your workplace, spreading  the word on social media and donating? If one person donating a used phone can save a life, imagine the difference we can all make if we work together. Oh, need more inspiration? Allstate is donating $100,000 to the national winner to support survivor services and prevention programs in their community.  If one cell phone can save a life, think what an impact we could make with $100,000 toward making Saratoga County free of relationship and sexual abuse. Want to know how you can help? Just give at us a call at 518.583.0280.

Rockin’ a Purse to Continually Push for Excellence

By now I'm sure you've heard that Saratoga County continues to rank as the #1 healthiest county in NYS. Not content to rest comfortably with those accolades, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded the Healthy Saratoga initiative, bringing together community leaders and seeking guidance from national experts on how we can build on our achievements ... and also address areas that could use improvements. We're looking for innovative models from other communities across the country so we can continue to challenge ourselves and improve. Click here  to hear from Todd Shimkus about why he's, "rockin' a purple purse for Healthy Saratoga."

DeCrescente Distributing is a family owned business that prides itself on giving back to the community. For many years they've been a drop off location for used cell phones that are repurposed as 911 phones to assist domestic violence survivors to be safe at home, at work, and throughout their daily lives. CJ DeCrescente states, "We've heard incredible stories about how your used cell phone can  -literally- save someone's life." Click here to hear CJ's inspiring words about how collecting cell phones has made them aware of domestic violence in our community.

For the last 35 years, Mark Baker has dedicated himself to fostering the vibrancy, culture, community spirit and economic prosperity of Saratoga Springs. As the president of the Saratoga City Center, he oversaw one of the most important economic drivers in our community... one that consistently surpassed performance goals year-after-year. Like Todd and CJ, he's no stranger to pushing past current success to reach even higher. Click here to hear his thoughts on how Wellspring's work can "help make our community even better.' 

Are you inspired by these leaders who challenge us to excellence? We often think the big social issues that plague us are just too challenging for any one person to make a difference... but that's not true. Former District Attorney James Murphy III often told the story of a local domestic violence victim who locked herself in the bathroom during an assault... and hidden in the linen closet was one of those used cell phones that had been donated to be used as a  911 phone. She made that emergency call and the police came as her abuser was breaking through the door to assault her. One business took the initiative to put out the collection box... one person donated their used cell phone instead of tossing it in the trash... so that our advocates could give that phone to a victim as part of a safety plan... and that one phone may very well have a saved a life that night.

This October Wellspring has set it's own big goal... to lead Saratoga County to the #1 ranking in the nation showing that our community is committed to ending relationship and sexual abuse. The Allstate Purple Purse Challenge starts October 2 and ends October 31. Will you help us by leading a fundraising team, setting up an event in your workplace, spreading  the word on social media and donating? If one person donating a used phone can save a life, imagine the difference we can all make if we work together. Oh, need more inspiration? Allstate is donating $100,000 to the national winner to support survivor services and prevention programs in their community.  If one cell phone can save a life, think what an impact we could make with $100,000 toward making Saratoga County free of relationship and sexual abuse. Want to know how you can help? Just give at us a call at 518.583.0280.

They’re Carrying A Purple Purse For Hope!

Christianne Potts articulates a big obstacle we have to ending domestic violence, "If you haven't seen it or heard it, you may not understand or believe it... and may not know who to turn to." She's right... 'Silence hides Violence'. Click here to learn more about what we need to do to end the silence.

Click here to learn why Brian Nealon, CEO of the Wesley Community, thinks Wellspring is important to their 600 employees, "We have people who have needed Wellspring's services... they've helped them to be safe and confident."



When I heard Reverend George Stefani talking about the First Baptist Church of Saratoga's new symbol of hope, I realized we're on the right path. "In our church we have many symbols of hope... today we've added a new one." Click here to find out what symbol is bringing them hope now.




Perhaps you can be the link to hope for someone in need... just by recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship and guiding them to support. Abuse isn't just physical... and no one should wait until they're in crisis or are physically assaulted to get help. Here's some information on the various forms of abuse. Wellspring is there to support survivors and offer them options; don't wait to call until you're in crisis.













They’re Carrying A Purple Purse For Hope!

Christianne Potts articulates a big obstacle we have to ending domestic violence, "If you haven't seen it or heard it, you may not understand or believe it... and may not know who to turn to." She's right... 'Silence hides Violence'. Click here to learn more about what we need to do to end the silence.

Click here to learn why Brian Nealon, CEO of the Wesley Community, thinks Wellspring is important to their 600 employees, "We have people who have needed Wellspring's services... they've helped them to be safe and confident."



When I heard Reverend George Stefani talking about the First Baptist Church of Saratoga's new symbol of hope, I realized we're on the right path. "In our church we have many symbols of hope... today we've added a new one." Click here to find out what symbol is bringing them hope now.




Perhaps you can be the link to hope for someone in need... just by recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship and guiding them to support. Abuse isn't just physical... and no one should wait until they're in crisis or are physically assaulted to get help. Here's some information on the various forms of abuse. Wellspring is there to support survivors and offer them options; don't wait to call until you're in crisis.













They Carry A Purple Purse for the Kids!

Everyone who has ever been on Wellspring's board of directors can quote something that I say so often, "I want to be out of a job!" But I very quickly follow up with the words, "Because we've achieved our goal of ending relationship and sexual abuse." Working with youth to promote healthy relationships and consent is key to decreasing the risk they'll ever experience dating violence or sexual victimization.  I'm not the only one who sees the prevention education and social change work  Wellspring does with youth as important. Here are some community members whose words about the importance of focusing on youth inspire me every day.

 "We need to protect the welfare of our children." Click here to learn what Marcie Frasier's research uncovered about the correlation between exposure to domestic violence  and the risk of alcohol or drug use, obesity and bullying.



While Tara Pleat sees a community of young individuals who are impressionable,  she's hopeful because, "We have a community that's not afraid to talk about these issues." Click here to learn more about why she has passionately dedicated 15 years to Wellspring's mission.


Elaine Anton-Lutruglio  coaches girls lacrosse, for one very obvious reason, "I love the girls I work with", so much so that she's not rocking just one, but 5 purple purses. Click here for her observations on youth and dating violence.


I'm Keshi...
watch the video to see what my name stands for.
So if Marcie, Tara and Elaine inspired you, here's something you can do today. Do you know someone who has a high school or college aged son or daughter? Share this video with them, so they'll know how to help someone in need. Local Skidmore students shared what they wished they'd known before they headed off to college.

They Carry A Purple Purse for the Kids!

Everyone who has ever been on Wellspring's board of directors can quote something that I say so often, "I want to be out of a job!" But I very quickly follow up with the words, "Because we've achieved our goal of ending relationship and sexual abuse." Working with youth to promote healthy relationships and consent is key to decreasing the risk they'll ever experience dating violence or sexual victimization.  I'm not the only one who sees the prevention education and social change work  Wellspring does with youth as important. Here are some community members whose words about the importance of focusing on youth inspire me every day.

 "We need to protect the welfare of our children." Click here to learn what Marcie Frasier's research uncovered about the correlation between exposure to domestic violence  and the risk of alcohol or drug use, obesity and bullying.



While Tara Pleat sees a community of young individuals who are impressionable,  she's hopeful because, "We have a community that's not afraid to talk about these issues." Click here to learn more about why she has passionately dedicated 15 years to Wellspring's mission.


Elaine Anton-Lutruglio  coaches girls lacrosse, for one very obvious reason, "I love the girls I work with", so much so that she's not rocking just one, but 5 purple purses. Click here for her observations on youth and dating violence.


I'm Keshi...
watch the video to see what my name stands for.
So if Marcie, Tara and Elaine inspired you, here's something you can do today. Do you know someone who has a high school or college aged son or daughter? Share this video with them, so they'll know how to help someone in need. Local Skidmore students shared what they wished they'd known before they headed off to college.

Allstate’s Purple Purse Challenge

I've been seeing purple lately...purple purses.


John Lofrumento explains that more women experience domestic violence
than breast, ovarian and lung cancers combined..
Once again Wellspring is participating in Allstate's Purple Purse Challenge. What's the Purple Purse Challenge? Watch here as John Lofrumento explains Allstate's passion for assisting domestic violence survivors toward economic empowerment. 

Last year our local donors gave more than $51,000 to Wellspring's Purple Purse campaign, earning Wellspring 5th place in the nation and $26,000 in bonus funds from Allstate that we used for survivor services and prevention programs in our community.
This year we're participating in the Purple Purse Challege once again... and our goal is to show that the people in our community are #1 in the country in caring about and working toward Wellspring's vision of ending relationship and sexual abuse.

Here's what you need to know about the Purple Purse Challenge:
 

Allstate’s Purple Purse Challenge

I've been seeing purple lately...purple purses.


John Lofrumento explains that more women experience domestic violence
than breast, ovarian and lung cancers combined..
Once again Wellspring is participating in Allstate's Purple Purse Challenge. What's the Purple Purse Challenge? Watch here as John Lofrumento explains Allstate's passion for assisting domestic violence survivors toward economic empowerment. 

Last year our local donors gave more than $51,000 to Wellspring's Purple Purse campaign, earning Wellspring 5th place in the nation and $26,000 in bonus funds from Allstate that we used for survivor services and prevention programs in our community.
This year we're participating in the Purple Purse Challege once again... and our goal is to show that the people in our community are #1 in the country in caring about and working toward Wellspring's vision of ending relationship and sexual abuse.

Here's what you need to know about the Purple Purse Challenge:
 

Talking with teens about consent


As we send our kids off to college, teens and parents have  dreams and expectations. Dreams for an education that leads to a career and stable life. Dreams for learning more about something that really interests you (instead of the basic curriculum that everyone took in high school.) Dreams of a new beginning where you can be the person you are now... without everyone else remembering the person you were 10 years ago.  Dreams of freedom from curfews and parental oversight (and on the parent side, freedom from those regular battles.) It's an exciting time with new beginnings, new opportunities, new peer groups and new freedoms.

And it can also be a risky time-- for sexual victimization. In fact, the period from freshman orientation until Thanksgiving break is called the Red Zone, as it's the period with the highest incidence of campus sexual assault. So it's important to talk with your daughters-- and your sons-- about consent before sending them off to college. So here are some talking points to help you with that discussion.... and to make it even easier we've got a quick video just for parents about why and how to talk with your teen about consent.
 
What is consent? Consent is “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. When sex is consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Non-consensual sex, or sex without someone’s agreement or permission, is sexual assault. Some important things to know about consent:
  • Drugs and alcohol blur consent. Drugs and alcohol impact decision making. When drugs and alcohol are involved, clear consent cannot be obtained. In many states, an intoxicated person cannot legally give consent.
  • Consent needs to be clear.Consent is more than not hearing the word “no.” A partner saying nothing is not the same as a partner saying “yes.” Don’t rely on body language, past sexual interactions or any other non-verbal cues. Never assume you have consent. Always be sure you have consent.
  •  Consent can be fun. Consent does not have to be something that “ruins the mood.” In fact, clear and enthusiastic consent can actually enhance sexual interactions. Not only does it allow one to know that their partner is comfortable with the interaction, it lets both partners clearly express what they want.
  •   Consent is specific. Just because someone consents to one set of actions and activities does not mean consent has been given to any other sexual act. Similarly, if a partner has given consent in the past to sexual activity this does not apply to current or future interactions. Consent can be initially given and later withdrawn.







[1] All content regarding consent is taken directly from the National Sexual Violence resource Center and retrieved from http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/SAAM_2012_Consent.pdf on August 3, 2016.

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