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Domestic Violence Can Happen to Anyone

Domestic Violence Can Happen to Anyone

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - It's time to recognize the prevalence of domestic violence (DV) and do something about it.

We've all heard of DV and probably feel like we have a pretty good understanding of it. But maybe society's idea of violence and abuse isn't quite right. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Victims aren't all from a certain demographic; they are found among every race, ethnicity,[...]

Hope in the Darkest Times

Hope in the Darkest Times

You're not the only person struggling. I can promise you that.
 
When I first got into the social work field, I had never heard someone talk about suicide. Now I'm not shocked to hear someone tell me they've considered it- or even attempted. Life is hard- especially for victims and survivors- and shouldn't be endured alone. That's just not how we were made to live.
 
Of course, there are all[...]
Confessions of a Girl with the World on Her Shoulders

Confessions of a Girl with the World on Her Shoulders

Sometimes it's easier for me to write than to talk out loud. After a year of these counseling meetings, I was starting to trust her, but with everything? I wasn't sure. She had handled the surface stuff well, but it was hard to imagine telling anyone about all my thoughts. I knew I couldn't talk to my mom about it; she had way too much to worry about already. My siblings were too young to understand and most of my friends[...]
Trauma After A Sexual Assault

Trauma After A Sexual Assault

If you talk to someone who has never been sexually assaulted, they might tell you to get over it. If you talk to someone who doesn't understand trauma, they won't know why you're still "stuck on it."

If you talk to someone who is trauma-informed, they get it. They will listen to you and sympathize with your pain and struggle. Because they understand the awful reality of trauma, they won't ask you to "move on." They won't[...]

Leslie's Story: Neglect & Love

Leslie's Story: Neglect & Love

"Gotcha!!" The outburst came from somewhere in the back of the room, followed by hushed protests. It was reading hour and the kids should have been silently reading their books (or at least pretending to). Jennifer didn't have to lift her eyes from her own book to know who the culprit was.

Leslie. It was always Leslie.

Taking a deep breath and summoning all her patience, Jennifer marched across the classroom. She stopped[...]

When Life Gives you Lemons (aka COVID-19)...

When Life Gives you Lemons (aka COVID-19)...

...you make lemonade.
 
Most of us have heard this optimistic statement before. But now might be the time to put it into practice. If life has ever given us lemons, this is it.
 
We're living in an unprecedented time. A global crisis is causing us to hit pause on our lives. Things are changing quicker than we can keep up. No one knows what to expect and most people are afraid.
The Deeper Problems behind Human Trafficking

The Deeper Problems behind Human Trafficking

Common Ground
 
We all agree that human trafficking is a heinous crime. We know that forcing or coercing men, women, and children into performing sex acts is wrong. We push awareness and make sure posters are up at every airport, bus station, and mall.
 
"See something. Say something," is the mantra. We want the public to be vigilant and ready to intervene if something strange goes down in[...]
Letter to Teens: What I wish I had known about love

Letter to Teens: What I wish I had known about love

To my lovestruck teenage friends:
 
First off, I'm not judging you. After all, I was you for a lot of years. And if I'm honest, sometimes I still fall into your dreamy, can't-see-past-that-gorgeous-smile ways. I know you want to be in love. And I'm sure this guy or girl in your life seems like the best thing to ever happen to you, but I have a few questions. I'm not telling you to break up with him or her. I[...]

5 New Year's Resolutions of a Domestic Violence Survivor

2019 was a tough year for many of us. Maybe you left an abuser, dealt with a stalker, or were raped. The effects of violence are real.
 
Can't sleep? Feeling hopeless? Anxious? Self-esteem so low it's non-existent?

You can't change the past, but there are things you can do to change your future. 2020 offers each of us a chance to begin again, to change those thoughts and patterns that haunt us. If you've[...]


Human Trafficking: Not What You Think

Human Trafficking: Not What You Think

If you've ever seen the movie "Taken," your view of human trafficking might be warped like mine was.

Girls kidnapped and kept in cages. In foreign countries. Never seeing the light of day.

While all this made for a thrilling, Liam Neeson film, it doesn't match reality. Those things can be true of trafficking victims, but they’re not the norm. Experts tell us that human trafficking is often much more subtle. It[...]

5 Ways to Create Space for Important Conversations

5 Ways to Create Space for Important Conversations

Have you ever felt like someone was hiding something from you? If you're like me, it's one of the most frustrating things to experience. Especially when it's someone you love. The other day I was talking with a friend who said she was in trouble...

"What kind of trouble?" I asked her.

No answer.

It didn't matter what I said or did; she wasn't going to tell me.

"I keep my problems inside," she said.

Ouch.

If you're the parent[...]











4 Ways you can start taking care of your mental health right now

4 Ways you can start taking care of your mental health right now

You’ve been abused, harassed, bullied, or traumatized.
 
Is life over now?
 
It doesn’t have to be.
 
Here at the Call Center, we see you. We hear you, and we weep with you as you mourn all you’ve been through. We hate injustice like you do. We listen to you, but we also want to help you take back your life.
 
Abuse is all about Power and[...]
Why Emotional Abuse Hits Harder than Physical

Why Emotional Abuse Hits Harder than Physical

"I don't even know if I'm calling the right place..."
 
"He never hit me. I didn't think it was abuse if there were no marks. But then I realized my scars were much deeper. Hidden, but so painful."
 
"All day, her words swirl around in my head: 'You're worthless. Lazy. You'll never be able to keep a job. You're so lucky to have me. No one else would put up with your crap.' I used to try to block[...]
What in the world is an Advocate?

What in the world is an Advocate?

Victim Advocate.

The name sounded interesting when I saw it on the job listing site, but I had no idea what it meant. To advocate is to….fight for? Speak on behalf of? Defend? Support?

It turns out all were true.

Victim advocates do so much, but because what we do is confidential, most of it goes unnoticed. We walk survivors through the most devastating crises of their lives. We fight for the rights of those who[...]