Mental Health Happy Hour Support Group
October Topic: Domestic Violence, how to prevent & spread awareness
Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors–including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner. Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Now is time to take a stand. Support survivors and speak out against domestic violence all month long.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nations who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. The activities conducted were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes:
Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
Celebrating those who have survived
Connecting those who work to end violence
These three themes remain a key focus of DVAM events today. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since with National Coalition Against Domestic Violence providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
—Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Why Do People Abuse?
Domestic violence and abuse stem from a desire to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abusive people believe they have the right to control and restrict their partners, and they may enjoy the feeling that exerting power gives them. They often believe that their own feelings and needs should be the priority in their relationships, so they use abusive tactics to dismantle equality and make their partners feel less valuable and deserving of respect in the relationship.
No matter why it happens, abuse is not okay and it’s never justified.
Abuse is a learned behavior. Sometimes people see it in their own families. Other times they learn it from friends or popular culture. However, abuse is a choice, and it’s not one that anyone has to make. Many people who experience or witness abuse growing up decide not to use those negative and hurtful ways of behaving in their own relationships. While outside forces such as drug or alcohol addiction can sometimes escalate abuse, it’s most important to recognize that these issues do not cause abuse.
Being able to tell the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships can be more difficult than you would think. No two relationships are the same, so what’s unhealthy in one relationship may be abusive in another. Although there are many signs to pay attention to in a relationship, look for these common warning signs of dating abuse:
How Common is Dating Abuse?
Dating abuse is a public health issue that affects people from all ages, backgrounds, and identities. However, among people who experience sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking, most experienced that violence for the first time before the age of 251. For high school students, 1 in 3 of them experience physical or sexual violence or both from a dating partner. It is vitally important that we specifically speak to and understand the statistics involved with abuse in young people’s relationships. These statistics outline how widespread dating abuse is in their lives.
DID YOU KNOW?
•1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
•On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, an average of close to 15 calls every minute.
•Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
•The presence of a gun in the home during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%
•72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these crimes are female.
A healthy relationship starts with mutual respect, including respect for each other’s emotional, physical and digital boundaries. Setting boundaries can be an ongoing process in a relationship. It’s important for partners to know each other’s concerns, limits, desires and feelings, and to be prepared to respect them. People and relationships evolve, and everyone has the right to change or adjust their boundaries as they see fit. Creating open conversations about boundaries in a relationship can help ensure that all partners’ boundaries are respected at all times.
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when considering setting boundaries in your relationship:
Does each partner get the space they need to live healthy lives as individuals?
As great as it is to want to spend time with your partner, it’s important to have some time away from each other, too. It’s not healthy for either partner to try to set limits or use guilt or pressure to control where their partner goes or who they spend time with. Everyone should feel free to spend time alone or with friends and family without having to get permission from their partner or check in and explain their whereabouts. If boundaries around personal space are not being respected, that may be a sign that one or both partners is having trouble with trust. Learn more about trust in healthy relationships here.
Is intimacy comfortable and consensual at all times?
Sexual consent is absolutely essential in a relationship, whether you’re just starting to date or you’ve been married for years. Sex should never feel obligatory, and you should always feel that your partner cares about your comfort and boundaries. Everyone has different backgrounds, desires, and comfort levels when it comes to intimacy, sex and methods of protection. It’s important to feel comfortable communicating your boundaries around intimacy and to trust that your partner will always respect them.
It can help to talk with your partner about boundaries and expectations around sex before you’re in the moment, as well as talking about how you’d like to communicate with each other in the moment to make sure you are both aware of each other’s boundaries throughout. While discussing boundaries beforehand can help, even in the moment you always have the right to set boundaries or change your mind. People’s levels of comfort and desire change, so it should never be assumed that just because someone was okay with something in the past, they will always be okay with it. No matter how long you’ve been with someone or how many times you’ve done something, you have the right to say no at any time for any reason. Learn more about consent in a healthy relationship here.
Is there mutual respect for privacy?
Everyone has the right to privacy, and that’s not something you should have to give up to be in a relationship. While it’s okay to share personal information like passwords to social media, bank accounts, email, phone, etc. if you wish to, it should never feel required and it’s completely reasonable to keep those private. Having access to another’s personal accounts or information also doesn’t give anyone the right to look through them without the owner’s permission. Even if you have shared passwords with your partner, you have every right to expect them to respect your privacy and boundaries. Leaving your private accounts open is never an invitation to invade your privacy. Talking with your partner about what you do and don’t wish to share can be a great way to lay some ground rules around privacy.
Do you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries without getting angry or making each other feel bad?
As we’ve said, everyone has the right to set boundaries. You should always feel comfortable communicating your boundaries to your partner without being afraid of how they’ll react. Personal boundaries shouldn’t feel like castle walls during a siege. Once you have set boundaries, you shouldn’t feel like you have to actively defend or reiterate them to have them be respected by your partner, and vice versa. In a healthy relationship, both people want their partner to feel happy, respected and comfortable and they use knowledge of each other’s boundaries to help them understand how to keep the relationship happy and healthy. Using pressure, making you feel guilty or arguing with you about whether your boundaries are reasonable is not respectful or healthy. If you don’t feel comfortable or safe setting boundaries, or your boundaries are not being respected by your partner, that can be a red flag for unhealthy or abusive dynamics in the relationship. Learn more about setting boundaries in a relationship on our love is respect website.
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, congratulations! It sounds like there are healthy boundaries in your relationship. If you answered “no” to one or more questions, this could be an indication that you and your partner might want to work on creating more boundaries in your relationship, or that you might want to assess for red flags for unhealthy or abusive dynamics in the relationship.
Prevent Domestic Violence in Your Community
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Learn how you can strengthen intimate partner violence prevention efforts in your community.
CDC’s goal is to stop intimate partner violence (IPV) before it begins. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. It exists along a range from a single episode of violence to severe episodes over a period of years.
IPV is common. Data from CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) indicate:
· Nearly 1 in 5 adult women and about 1 in 7 adult men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
· About 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men have experienced contact sexual violence from an intimate partner (this includes rape, being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, and unwanted sexual contact).
· 10% of women and 2% of men report having been stalked by an intimate partner.
About the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline - Need help?
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
How does it work? When you call 800.656.HOPE (4673), you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider.
Telephone Hotline Terms of Service
How can the hotline help me?
Calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline gives you access to a range of free services including:
· Confidential support from a trained staff member
· Support finding a local health facility that is trained to care for survivors of sexual assault and offers services like sexual assault forensic exams
· Someone to help you talk through what happened
· Local resources that can assist with your next steps toward healing and recovery
· Referrals for long term support in your area
· Information about the laws in your community
· Basic information about medical conce
St. Peter’s Partners Sexual Assault & Crime Victims Assistance
People who are victims of sexual assault and other crimes need immediate, dignified and compassionate treatment. St. Peter's Health Partners provides specially trained counselors to meet with survivors at a hospital, clinic, or private physician's office. They can help victims/survivors with gathering evidence; obtaining medical services; receiving counseling or therapy; and advocating with police, courts, and crime victims' agencies.
Our services are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day. (Services are provided to females and males, both children and adults, without regard to race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical ability.)
If you'd like to donate your old cell phone to give victims a phone to call 9-1-1, please drop it off, preferably with the charger attached, to our basement level offices at Samaritan Hospital or at the volunteer office at Albany Memorial Hospital.
Sexual Assault 24-hour hotline 518-271-3257
St. Peters Hospital
315 S. Manning Blvd.
Albany, NY 12208
2200 Burdett Ave., Suite 109, Troy 518-271-3445
Troy Police Office
55 State Street, Troy 518-270-4454
Rensselaer County Court House
Legal Advocacy Office
80 Second Street, Troy518-270-4023
Hudson Valley Community College
Student Health Office
80 Vandenburgh Ave, Troy 518-629-7467
Rensselaer County Probation Department
500 Broadway, Troy 518-270-8479
Address: 500 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 435-9931
Equinox Domestic Violence Services are available to all victims and their dependent children, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
Equinox is Albany County’s primary provider of services for victims of domestic violence. All Domestic Violence services are confidential and free of charge:
· shelter services
To provide safety for victims of Domestic Violence, including the elderly, and offer the support, assistance and tools they need to escape abusive situations and take control of their lives.
24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline 518.432.7865
Equinox Mental Health Services are available to adults (18 years and older) and their families who are struggling with serious mental illness.
Our multi-faceted, holistic, and client-centered approach to treatment touches on all aspects of an individual's life –
· outpatient services
· To enable those living with mental illness to move forward on their paths to recovery, healing, and independence.
All calls are confidential. We provide information, crisis intervention, counseling, referral, and/or shelter. The hotline is available to victims, friends, family, and other concerned individuals. Collect calls accepted.
Albany County CRIME VICTIM and SEXUAL VIOLENCE CENTER
Harold L. Joyce Albany County Office Building
112 State Street, Room 1010 | Albany, NY 12207
Phone: (518) 447-7100 | Fax: (518) 447-7102
24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline: (518) 447-7716
Support for Domestic Violence Victims
Domestic Violence permeates the lives and compromises the safety of thousands of people each day, with tragic, destructive, and often fatal results.
The Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center provides criminal justice advocacy to victims of domestic violence. We assist with requesting orders of protection and safety planning. We may be able to assist with transportation to and from court or meetings with the District Attorney’s Office. We may be able to assist with lock changes to address safety concerns. We will assist with completing applications for compensation from the NYS Office of Victim Services, which may assist with moving costs and other related expenses. We assist with victim impact statement and VINE notification as well as Address Confidentiality Programs.
The Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center offers information and confidential counseling to victims of domestic violence and their children and to their families and friends. Short-tem, goal-oriented treatment is available to child and adult crime victims recovering from the trauma.
Domestic Violence Programs
2431 Sixth Avenue
Troy, New York 12180
24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: (518) 272-2370
Unity House’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline is an anonymous service which provides crisis intervention, information and referrals 24-hours a day, year-round. Collect calls accepted. To talk with a counselor in confidence call, (518) 272-2370.
Cell Phones: Unity House has 911 cell phones that are available for victims of domestic violence free of charge. For more information, call Domestic Violence Emergency Services a 518.272.5917.
Why is everyone going purple?
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and The Albany County District Attorney joins the statewide “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign. This effort is spearheaded by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV).
Events During the Month of October
Wednesday, October 3rd 10:00am to 12:00pm
Domestic Violence in the Workplace Presentation and Information Fair
112 State Street (Cahill Room), Albany
Saturday, October 6th 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Zumba for a Cause
Legnard-Curtain American Legion Post 927, Cohoes
Friday, October 12th 10:00 pm
Elda’s Purple Rain Party
205 Lark St, Albany
Wednesday, October 17th
Wear Purple Day! - All New Yorkers are being asked to wear purple on October 17, 2012 to help generate discussion and awareness of domestic violence and dating abuse.
Thursday, October 18th 5:30 pm
Legal Project’s Pro Bono Reception
The Egg (Hart Theater and Lounge), Albany
Saturday, October 20th 3:00 pm
Hunt for Purple October-- Café Hollywood, Albany
October 22nd – October 26th
Dating Violence and Healthy Relationship Awareness Week-- SUNY Albany
Tuesday, October 23rd 6:00 pm
Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil
Albany Law School
Wednesday, October 24th 7:00 pm
Buidling Bridges presents: In Her Shoes
Saturday, October 27th 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Help or Hindrance: Faith Community Response to Domestic Violence
Beltrone Living Center
Sunday, October 28th 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Walk a Mile - SUNY Albany