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Posts tagged ‘Domestic Violence’

Call to Action: Domestic Violence

Who knew that when BODY chose domestic violence as our topic for January’s Lunch & Learn that the issue would be so current.

Considering that every 12 seconds a woman is beaten by her husband or lover, I guess this is always a issue whether the media covers it or not.

On Monday night (Jan 28) at 7pm, a team representing Oak Cliff congregations meets to plan and support the mayor’s call to action.  Contact JoelPulis [AT] BODYOakCliff.net for more details and location.

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From “Advocates Praise Dallas’ Domestic Violence Reform”

City leaders’ recent resolve to stop domestic violence has made the issue a priority in a way that’s unprecedented in Dallas, but officials can’t let up if they want to address the problem comprehensively, experts say.

After a jump in domestic violence slayings in 2012 that hasn’t seemed to slow down so far this year, leaders in Dallas have said enough is enough.

As part of the charge to raise awareness, advocates, city officials and police gathered Wednesday for a candlelight vigil at City Hall for domestic violence victims.

Mayor Mike Rawlings has also appealed to Dallas’ men to stop domestic violence, a City Council member announced efforts to help curb the problem and the police chief has been asked to make it a priority to serve domestic violence warrants.

Local advocates praised the city’s coordinated response that puts the responsibility where it should be: on the abusers. Jan Langbein, the executive director of Genesis Women’s Shelter for 22 years, said she has never seen a mayor take such a strong stand on this issue.

“Just in the past two weeks, we’ve seen our city turn the corner … from blaming a victim to holding accountable the perpetrator,” Langbein said. “That’s a message that’s heard loudly throughout our community.”

But advocates say it’s only part of the solution.

The voices of city officials play a part in reducing domestic violence by helping sway public opinion, said Paige Flink, executive director of The Family Place shelter.

“It is not going to stop it by itself, but it is an important part of stopping family violence,” Flink said. “We need to look at the whole system.”

 

Genesis Women’s Shelter

[This is the last of several posts sharing resources and in follow-up to last week’s Lunch & Learn meeting on Domestic Violence. ]

Genesis Women’s Shelter

Genesis Women’s Shelter offers a free, comprehensive continuum of care for women and children who have suffered unspeakable violence in their own homes.

Serving North Texas for more than 25 years, Genesis Women’s Shelter is dedicated to ending the epidemic of domestic violence in our community by providing safety, shelter, counseling, and case management to the more than 1,000 women and children who seek recovery and strength at Genesis each year. Genesis is also committed to preventing abuse by raising the level of community awareness regarding the pervasiveness and effects of family violence.

Genesis was established in 1985 as a shelter for women and their children fleeing domestic violence. Since its founding, Genesis has added a transitional housing facility (Annie’s House) and a non-residential counseling facility (Outreach) to assist victims of domestic violence.

Each year, Genesis serves hundreds of women and children through our residential programs, with hundreds more receiving counseling services at our Outreach facility. All clients can participate in our unique, free programming which includes individual and group counseling, child play therapy, on-site school and day care, legal services, sexual assault recovery, and case management.

Services Include

  • 24-Hour Hotline
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Transitional Housing
  • Counseling Center
  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Trauma Recovery
  • Daycare
  • Child Play Therapy
  • Teen Counseling
  • On-Site School
  • Case Management
  • Parenting Classes
  • Legal Services
  • Job Readiness Classes
  • Domestic Violence Education

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If you or a friend are in immediate danger, call 911.  If you need a safe place, call the Genesis Hotline: 214-946-HELP (4357).  Professional help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention and safety planning. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

Everyone deserves to be safe. Domestic Violence is a crime.

Domestic Violence: Recognizing the Signs

[This is the third of several posts sharing resources and in follow-up to last week’s Lunch & Learn meeting on Domestic Violence. ]

First, know that professional help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention and safety planning. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

Everyone deserves to be safe. Domestic Violence is a crime.

If you or a friend are in immediate danger, call 911.  If you need a safe place, call the Genesis Hotline: 214-946-HELP (4357)

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Recognizing Domestic Violence

Domestic violence occurs when one person in an intimate relationship exercises power and control over the other through a pattern of intentional behaviors, including psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. There is no way to define a “typical” victim of domestic violence-–it can affect anyone from any socioeconomic, demographic, geographic, or educational background. The greatest risk factor for victimization is simply being a woman.

While most people are able to recognize an abusive relationship when it involves physical violence, relationships involving psychological or emotional abuse are more subtle, but no less destructive. If allowed to continue, these behaviors can escalate to include more physically dangerous abuse over time. It is important to recognize key characteristics of domestic violence so that abuse can be stopped before it becomes life threatening.

The progression of violence is outlined below, and includes repeated use of one or more of the following behaviors.

Verbal Abuse:

  • Name-calling
  • Put downs
  • Yelling
  • Use of profanity
  • Unfounded accusations
  • Cruel and hurtful remarks
  • Degrading the victim in public
  • Diminishing accomplishments
  • Flying into rages

Emotional Abuse:

  • Isolation
  • Ignoring
  • Controlling finances or employment
  • Lack of trust/Suspicion
  • Following or stalking the victim
  • Criticizing
  • Threats of suicide
  • Threats of taking away children
  • Threats of physical violence
  • Threats of murder
  • Minimizes or denies behavior, explosive or critical reactions

Physical Abuse:

  • Choking/Strangulation
  • Holding the victim down against their will
  • Throwing or breaking objects
  • Pushing
  • Shoving
  • Slapping
  • Biting
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Using a weapon
  • Murder

Sexual Abuse:

  • Rape
  • Forcing unwanted sexual acts
  • Use of weapons during sex
  • Forced sex involving multiple partners
  • Inflicts pain during sex

[Used by permission of Genesis Women’s Shelter.  See http://www.genesisshelter.org/page.aspx?pid=364]

Domestic Violence: Helping a Friend

[This is the second of several posts sharing resources and in follow-up to last week’s Lunch & Learn meeting on Domestic Violence. ]

First, know that professional help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention and safety planning. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

Everyone deserves to be safe. Domestic Violence is a crime.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.  If you need a safe place, call the Genesis Hotline: 214-946-HELP (4357)

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If you think your friend is in a violent relationship, but you aren’t sure – go with your instincts. You probably wouldn’t be concerned without reason. Follow these tips and talk with your friend. Remember that our advocates answer our hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (214) 946-HELP (4357).

When you know someone in an abusive relationship:

What Can You Do?

  • Listen without judging. She may feel responsible, ashamed, inadequate, and afraid.
  • Tell her that it is NOT her fault.
  • Make sure she knows she is not alone.
  • Explain that relationship abuse is a crime. She can seek protection from the police, courts, and domestic violence programs.
  • Suggest she develop a safety plan. A safety plan is helpful in case of an emergency. Keep money, important documents, a change of clothes, and an extra set of keys in a safe place, such as with a friend or neighbor.
  • Think of ways you can help. If she decides to leave, she may need money, assistance finding a place to live, a place to store her belongings, or help finding a safe home for her pets.
  • Contact Genesis’ 24-hour hotline at (214) 946-HELP. If you need advice on how to help your friend in an abusive relationship, Genesis Women’s Shelter can help. We offer counseling for friends and relatives of victims of abuse.

In many cases, she fears for her life. She may want her children to grow up with both parents, or feel guilty believing that the abuse is her fault. Sometimes a victim’s self-esteem is so damaged by the abuse that she thinks she can’t make it on her own. Or, she may just want the violence to end, not the relationship.

What if she decides to remain in the relationship?

  • Encourage her to keep a log or diary of the abuse. This log should include evidence of threats in letters, email, voicemail, or answering machine messages.
  • Help her identify resources. Help her make a list of resources to help her take care of herself, get emotional support, and build her self-esteem.
  • Suggest she tell a doctor or nurse about the violence. A doctor or nurse can document the abuse in her medical records and take photographs of her injuries, which will be helpful if she decides to take legal action.
  • Encourage her to call Genesis Women’s Shelter at (214) 946-HELP. If she reveals that she is being stalked by her abuser, Genesis can help her establish a safety plan and obtain a protective order. Stalking, as well as domestic abuse, is against the law.
  • Help her develop a safety plan for her children. Many women stay in abusive situations because of their children. It is important to have a safety plan for the children in case of an emergency.

What if she decides to leave the relationship?

  • Decide how you can help. Can you loan her money? Offer her a place to store her belongings? Help her find a safe place to live?
  • Help her develop a safety strategy. Encourage her to set aside money, gather and store important documents, and develop a plan of escape.
  • Contact Genesis Women’s Shelter or another battered women’s program for assistance.

What if you see an assault in progress?

  • Call 911.
  • Write down all the information you can remember, including any license plate numbers and the location of the assault.
  • Contact Genesis Women’s Shelter or another battered women’s program for assistance.
  • Be sure to keep yourself safe.
  • If you see an assault in progress, do something about it. Don’t assume that someone else has already taken care of it.

[Used by permission of Genesis Women’s Shelter.  See http://www.genesisshelter.org/page.aspx?pid=403]

Domestic Violence in Oak Cliff

If it were an enemy insulting me, I could bear it. If it were my enemies attacking me, I could hide. But it is you, the one so close to me, my companion, my good friend, who does this. – Psalm 55:12-13

This past Tuesday, Jan Langbein, Executive Director of the Genesis Women’s Shelter, called our congregations to action in the face of the epidemic of domestic violence in our city. The Dallas Police Department receives 20,000 calls regarding domestic violence each year. This is an equal opportunity evil, affecting families across all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and educational boundaries.

Consider:

  • Every 12 seconds a woman is battered in America (over 300 per hour)
  • 1 in 4 women will know domestic violence in her lifetime
  • 1 in 3 teenage girls will be physically assaulted by a boyfriend
  • Boys who witness domestic violence in their homes are 1,500 times more likely to perpetrate abuse later in life

May our congregations proclaim zero tolerance for violence against women and children!

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For more information, check out Genesis’ website at www.genesisshelter.org

If you or a friend are in immediate danger, call 911.  If you need a safe place, call the Genesis Hotline: 214-946-HELP (4357).  Professional help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention and safety planning. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

Everyone deserves to be safe. Domestic Violence is a crime.