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And you don’t want to miss two exciting events:
On September 29th grab a leash and your favorite pooch and join us in Congress Park for the kickoff to Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the 7th Annual Pooch Parade.
And call up your favorite gal friends and join us at Longfellows on October 11th for Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends.
For more info on both events click here
Yesterday’s New York Times featured an article titled “How Saying #MeToo Changed Their Lives”. It featured 20 men and women who spoke about about their experiences of sexual assault or harassment and the positive, negative, unexpected, and healing emotions and interactions they encountered as a result of publicly saying #MeToo.
All over the nation, conversations are happening about formerly taboo topics, about social norms that we never questioned (even when they felt really uncomfortable and hurt people we cared about), and about what our personal role is in this highly charges social issue.
Some people find liberation and support as they tell stories that they’ve kept secret for weeks, years or decades about being victimized. Some find confirmation as others say, “That sounds just like what he did to me.” Other experience judgments, “How did you let that happen to you?” Or isolation, “No one reached out” or “I was shunned in my workplace/career.” Some begin to probe the depths of how their victimization and silence has affected their lives, “[it] opened up other issues that were exacerbated by the abuse, though not directly related. Issues such as my own sense of confidence, and why I was one of the ones chosen.”
Or as Drew Dixon stated to reporter Joe Coscarelli,
And many found strength, support and hope, like Deborah Harris who felt berated and humiliated by the sexual harassment. She stated,
After the article, my daughter posted on Facebook: ‘My mother, social justice warrior.’ I really kind of got elevated in her eyes. I’m proud of myself.
We honor the courage of the many women and men who have shared their personal experiences of victimization. In order for change to happen these issues need to come out of the shadows and we need to hear the pain and injustice that survivors have encountered… but hearing those stories an feel poignantly raw and real. If the recent media attention about issues of sexual harassment has affected you or someone you know, call Wellspring we understand and we’re here to help.
Looking back at 2017, it’s impossible not to notice how issues of gender inequality, harassment and sexual violence were in the forefront of our consciousness throughout the year…culminating in mid-October with a viral #MeToo twitterstorm that was a rallying cry against gender based violence. #MeToo didn’t emerge from a vacuum… for several years there’s been a steady increase in our society’s awareness and concern about sexual violence. The accounts of sexual assault, harassment, groping, and discrimination have garnered headlines. The names and stories of respected men who are also perpetrators remain in our consciousness because we’ve given these issues more attention than ever before— Ray Rice, Bill Cosby, Brock Turner, Jameis Winston, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, Brett Ratner, Louis C.K., US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey. Concepts like “locker room talk”, consent, intimidation, power and privilege have migrated from HR offices to boardrooms, to locker rooms to water coolers and to the family dinner table…and the magnitude of this problem is shameful.
The Roman god Janus was the god of doorways, transitions, and new beginnings. It’s fitting that the our first month was named in his honor, because we spend those first days of the new year contemplating where we’ve been, where we’d like to be and sometimes making resolutions to help us achieve those goals.
Looking back at 2016, I’m struck by how much the issues of sexual harassment, domestic violence, and sexual assault have dominated coverage of news, sports, Hollywood, politics, even the tech world. These conversations aren’t totally new; 2014 seems so long ago when Ray Rice’s infamous act of domestic violence was captured on video, doesn’t it? Yet, the cadence and depth of covering these stories seemed to increase significantly in 2017, culminating with the #MeToo campaign that went viral with thousands of women disclosing their own stories of sexual harassment or sexual victimization. 2017 was a year of reducing the silence and stigma of sexual victimization, and recognizing the strength of survivors who are willing to tell these very personal and traumatic stories to help us understand the magnitude of the problem, so we can create change.
I’ve got a lot of numbers in my head today.
26 It’s been 26 days since the launch of the Purple Purse Challenge.
3 We’re currently in third place in the nation.
3.5 We’ve got 3.5 days left in the Challenge.
70,000 We’re about to reach $70,000 in funds donated to Wellspring by our community since October 2nd.
Infinite. How grateful I feel by the overwhelming support of our community.. and inspired that by working together we truly can end relationship and sexual abuse. From local businesses (an extra big thanks to the members of the Saratoga Springs DBA), to the community leaders who gave voice to why our work is so important, to faith organizations , and individual people who gave so generously from their hearts.
What I’ve really enjoyed throughout this month is hearing all the reasons people care: children, women, safety, financial stability, hope, empowerment. Yesterday the folks at the Saratoga Casino and Hotel were sitting around the table talking about Wellspring’s Purple Purse Challenge and they pulled out their phone, made a video and sent it to me. Click here to see what they had to say.
I don’t think there’s been anyone more excited about the Challenge than Jesse Jackson at Look TV. He’s had me as a guest on the show so many times this month that he’s seen my entire purple wardrobe… and has a new moniker for me. Click here to find out what Jesse has named me now and hear what we talked about today.
So Jesse is reminding folks to support the Challenge by making their gift online before 1:59 October 31st at wellspringcares.org/purse
Thanks Jesse… and thanks to all of you! Together e we can reach all our goals.
In her work as a life coach, Carly Hamilton Jones has seen the effects of domestic violence. Click here to hear why she thinks Wellspring’s work is important for our community.
Brandon Dewyea , founder of the women’s network, Savvy, shares her thoughts on the important of women supporting each other to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Many victims of domestic violence suffer in silence without ever telling anyone what’s happening in the relationship; often they maintain this silence because they’re embarrassed to admit they’re being abused by a partner. It’s not unusual for us to hear, “I don’t know anyone else this has happened to.” Actually one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Ending domestic violence… and the stigma of it, starts with talking about the prevalence, the challenges, and owning that it’s up to all of us to create the change to end abuse.
Many folks have told me they had no idea about the scope of Wellspring’s programs until they read the blog over the past month. So for a bit of fun, here’s a little crossword challenge highlighting info about some of those lesser known programs.