TAG | domestic violence prevention
On November 7th I had the privilege of being a Table Host at the annual Sojourner Center Hope Luncheon, the Center’s biggest fundraiser and awareness event of the year. Approximately 1,000 people attended the luncheon at the Fairmont Princess Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.
For many, this was the first opportunity to meet Sojourner’s new Executive Director, Maria Garay, MSW. PhD. Dr. Garay’s short speech, that afternoon, was enlightening, heartfelt and inspirational. I can tell you from the few times I’ve had the pleasure to spend time talking with her, she is a truly remarkable person.
I had invited several people who are near and dear to my heart; friends and colleagues whom I thought would enjoy the event and care deeply about the issue of domestic violence in our state. My guests were:
Bobbie Fox, Esq., SCF Arizona https://www.scfaz.com
Terrie Kolker, Hayden & Hayden Insurance http://www.haydenagency.net/
Carl Mangold, LCSW, LISAC Partner in www.TheDVU.com
Deila Mangold, Community Member
Lisa Pressman, singer/songwriter http://tiny.cc/zvwrsw
Tim Ponzek, singer/songwriter
Laura Lawless Robertson, Atty. Squire Sanders www.squiresanders.com
Julie Bernal, Community Member
Cara Lind, Regional Dir. Metabolic Research
Sojourner Center is still in need of on-going support. You can make that happen with your donation, including the Working Poor Tax Credit. It’s is easy and costs you nothing!
Simply make a donation to Sojourner Center by December 31, 2013, up to $200 per individual or $400 per couple, and include AZDOR Form 321 when you file your 2013 AZ state income tax.
There are several other ways to donate as well. All the necessary links can be found here: http://www.sojournercenter.org/go2/donate-mainmenu-42/make-a-donation.html
Plus, you can make the Working Poor Tax Credit even if you’ve done other tax credits for example, to your child’s soccer program. Talk to your accountant or CPA.
Thanks for all you can do to help!
To my readers: I have the humbling privilege to know Dr. Maria Garay, Sojourner Center’s new Executive Director. Together we are creating energizing, meaningful initiatives to address relationship violence. Recently Sojourner published a newsletter to introduce Maria to the community and she has generously allowed me to post her newsletter for you.
Dear Friends & Supporters,
My name is Dr. Maria Garay and I am so excited to be joining the Sojourner Center team as the new Executive Director. I come to Phoenix from Los Angeles, CA and have been working at the executive level for the past twenty years in the human services field. I have been at Sojourner Center since the beginning of September and can already see how special and amazing this place is. I am honored to be a part of this wonderful organization, with its rich history and mission of helping women and children overcome the impact of domestic violence.
You see, ending the cycle of domestic violence is something I am very passionate about. While this is a multi-faceted problem without an easy or clear solution, I believe Sojourner Center has and is ending the cycle of violence for the women and children we serve. I believe you can help us break the cycle of violence too, by talking about this issue and the work we are doing, with your friends, family, and coworkers. A recent study revealed that despite 80% of Americans acknowledging that domestic violence is a problem in our society, only 15% think it is a problem among their friends. We know this can’t be true, since studies show 1-in-4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
This widespread silence is a problem for many reasons. First, it makes domestic violence victims feel isolated and alone. Second, the silence perpetuates the shame and embarrassment that domestic violence victims might feel. Third, by not talking about it, people don’t always know how to recognize abuse or how to help someone who is being abused.
Let’s break the silence about domestic violence and make it easier for victims to get the help and support they need.
I also want to make sure you know about two very important numbers. The first is easy to remember, 2-1-1. This is a 24-hour bilingual hotline that will connect people in crisis with domestic violence and homeless shelters throughout Arizona. The second is 602-244-0089, this is Sojourner Center’s 24-hour crisis line. We are available day or night to talk to anyone who may be in crisis have questions about domestic violence, or need help planning how to leave an abusive relationship. I hope you will put these numbers in a safe place where you can find them and share them if you ever need to.
Thank you all for your continued support and partnership with this amazing organization. Together, we can end the cycle of domestic violence for every woman and child we serve.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs says, “There remains an extraordinary lack of awareness and level of denial about the existence of this type of violence.” When I speak to people about domestic violence they talk about what a terrible problem it is for “those people.” As if unless we experience it first hand it has nothing to do with us. But it does; and it’s costly.
The Centers for Disease control (CDC) reports that costs of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women alone in 1995 exceeded an estimated $5.8 billion. These costs included nearly $4.1 billion in the direct costs of medical and mental health care and nearly $1.8 billion in the indirect costs of lost productivity (CDC 2003). This is generally considered an underestimate because the costs associated with the criminal justice system were not included.
When updated to 2003 dollars, IPV costs exceeded $8.3 billion, which included $460 million for rape, $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking, and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives (Max et al. 2004).
Here are the 10 Critical Elements for Successful Domestic Violence Training
1. It starts at the top
When the company’s key officers make an organizational commitment to training and personally attend sessions, and ensure all levels are included, you’re on the road to your program’s success.
2. Your Trainer
Have your training conducted by an outside organization that is clearly informed and involved in domestic abuse (DV), has up-to-date information and training is facilitated by someone who understands the dynamics of abuse.
3. Why should we talk about it?
Your training must open with a discussion of why we talk about this issue. Allow people to get comfortable with the topic. The taboos are the hardest “nut to crack” and one of the biggest reasons why domestic abuse continues to increase as a societal problem.
Have training cover the most current statistics both locally and nationally. Your employees need a realistic picture of how prevalent the issue is.
5. Whom it affects
There are several demographic groups affected by DV. Your training should cover the four groups most affected by abuse and discuss how they’re affected.
6. The monetary toll
Particularly, employers and division heads need to understand the cost-related issues that affect the company’s bottom line.
7. Myths and Facts
It’s important in ending taboos and misguided judgments to understand the complex dynamics of abuse and what lies at the heart of the problem.
8. Recognizing the signs
While signs of abuse are occasionally “obvious,” such as bruises, most often they are very subtle. Only those well trained in recognizing the subtle signs can educate others on what is often unseen and unfelt by anyone other than the victim.
9. How to help
Often we want to jump in and provide solutions. But this is likely to be the least helpful approach to solving the victim’s problem. It’s imperative that we learn the right ways to help; what to do is as important as what not to do.
10. Employers responsibilities
As employers, our liability is on the line. We have a General Duty under OSHA to provide “…a safe and healthful working environment.” As Futures Without Violence (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund) states, “In one case, a wrongful death action against an employer who failed to respond to an employee’s risk of domestic violence on the job cost the employer $850,000.”
As a part of this training I urge employers to develop Workplace Violence Prevention Plans, establish Safety Committees, adopt Safety Policies and Procedures and to include these components in their regular Domestic Violence Awareness training.
Return on Investment
The most difficult “pitfall” to overcome is the taboo associated with DV training. Employees tend to feel that attendance at training is a “red flag” that they might be victims. To ensure everyone receives training, it must be required by the employer on paid time.
The good news is that when you succeed with your training you will open the doors for employees to come forward to the appropriate reporting party which is the first step in getting help.
Your return on training investment will grow over the years. Employees and the outside community will perceive your organization as one that cares about the problem of domestic abuse and is actively doing something to be part of the solution.
Stephanie Angelo, founder of Human Resource Essential, LLC, pioneered a process which translates domestic abuse to determine the financial impact on organizations. We specialize in the business case for addressing the organizational impact, training, management consulting and program support for ongoing change. If you’re not certain that your workplace is Safe, Supportive and Sought-After contact us – we can help! Visit www.hressential.com
bottom line · CDC · Coaching · conflict · consulting · crime victim’s rights · demographics · domestic violence in the workplace · domestic violence prevention · Futures Without Violence · leadership development · personal safety · prevention
It would be great to not say, “Here we go again”. But here we are “Fort Thomas shooting victim denied restraining order months before attempted murder-suicide”
Another person gunned down for the crime of ending a relationship. Another family mourning the loss.
Another person convinced that they have nothing left to lose and are entitled to possessing another human being, turns the gun on himself. His family is morning a loss too.
It looks like, in this case, that the victim tried what she could. She got an order of protection, or tried to. It was denied. Really? Who does that? Granted and OOP may not guarantee safety. But she evidentially believed she was doing the right thing. Who would deny at least trying?
I’ll be clear: it would be irresponsible of me to claim that workplace domestic violence polices will be the “be-all-end-all” cure to these heinous acts. I can confidently say tell you that a comprehensive domestic violence program and policy will make a huge difference. Huge. We already know this from employees coming forward to their trained designee to get the help and referrals they need. We already know this from well-trained individuals who identify and assist those that may not be willing to come forward, or haven’t even self-identified that they are, indeed, victims.
You know that good workplace domestic violence and workplace violence trainings can stop these would-be shooters in their tracks. It’s been done before.
You’ll never be able to put a dollar figure to something you prevented and to the unknown crimes that could have happened, but didn’t. You can put a dollar figure on increased productivity, increased worker satisfaction, health, and morale. You can put a dollar figure on reduced turnover, reduced health care costs and mental health care costs. You can put a price on what state and federal non-compliance would cost you. You can put a price on what plaintiff’s awards to grieving families could cost you.
For the employee whose life you changed when you stepped in and offered non-judgmental support, guidance and life-saving resources; priceless.
We know. We’re experts at creating workplaces that are safe, supportive and sough-after. When the phone rings and a client says, “we want to prevent this from happening to us” we can smile when we say “here we go again.”
By guest contributor Erika Evans
President Obama announced Friday that he will sign the expansion of the Violence Against Women’s act to include lesbians, gays, transgender people, Native Americans and immigrants after Congress voted 286 to 138 in its favor. Vice President Biden noted that there has been a 64 percent drop since he first wrote and pushed the bill in 1994.
Even if there is evidence that there has been a decrease in domestic violence there will never be a time where we should stop addressing it. The Center for Disease Control did a report in 2011 that states that 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.
The Violence Against Women act website states that there has been an 11 percent increase in the reporting of domestic violence over the past 10 years. This is proof that addressing the issue has made progress. Also, we have only just begun to acknowledge domestic violence and intimate partner abuse in the work place and need to push forward with doing so to ensure the safety of employees and their right to work in a protected environment.
The only way we can continue to make progress is to keep laws, prevention programs, employment policies and education in place and to address domestic violence in society past, present and future.
By guest contributor Erika Evans
At some point in our lives we all have known at least one person who has been a victim of domestic violence or intimate partner abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 1.5 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. On March 1, 2013 President Obama announced that he will be signing the expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Vice President Biden stated that since the first law passed 18 years ago there has been a 64 percent reduction in domestic violence.
Is this a true statement? I decided to do the research myself to find out. I investigated information from domestic violence organizations such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Resource Center for Domestic Violence and the National Network to End Domestic Violence in which none of these organizations provided information or statistics that could back up Biden’s claim. I then went straight to the source and researched the Violence Against Women’s website and though I could not find evidence that there has been a reduction in domestic violence I did find statistics that state reports of domestic violence have gone up 11 percent in the past 10 years due to the Violence Against Women’s Act. In conclusion, I was unable to back up Vice President Biden’s claim but I was able to see that progress has been made and any type of progress is progress.
By guest writer R. Dania, age 16
As a high school student, especially as a teenage girl, I have seen the full range of relationships. I don’t know much about teen violence statistics, but I’ve seen couples who have been happily together for more than two years, and couples who haven’t worked out as well. I myself have been through a few relationships. All, of course, different. Last year it was a boy two years older who would get upset if I couldn’t talk on the phone right when he wanted to, or for as long as he wanted to. He came to a dance show I was performing in and during intermission, I received a text message saying simply, “This isn’t what I expected, I’m leaving.” To most people, it would seem melodramatic to call this an abusive relationship but as we know, with it being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, that’s really mental and emotional teen dating abuse.
But let’s not forget that there’s always the good that comes out of dating, the things that make all the high school drama worth it. With the guys that will be genuine to their girls and give them all the respect they deserve, but also knowing that a relationship is a two-way street. Both parties must treat each other well. www.Girlsheath.gov states that in order to have a healthy relationship:
- You feel good about yourself when you are with that person.
- You think that both people work hard to treat the other person well.
- You feel safe around the other person.
- You like being with the other person.
- You feel that you can trust him or her with your secrets.
So as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, remember these tips, and I encourage everyone to have conversations with your mothers, sisters, and friends regarding any issues you may have or advice you need.
It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, you probably deal with distractions on a daily basis. And these distractions are costly: A 2007 study by Basex estimated that distractions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, and this high cost is likely repeated in organizations around the world.
What’s more (and depending on the complexity of our work), regaining concentration after a distraction can take quite a few minutes. If we’re distracted 10 times a day, multiply the time lost by 10, and it’s easy to see why we sometimes don’t get much quality work done.
Aside from the actual time lost to the interruptions, there is additional recovery time which negatively impacts productivity. Once interrupted, it takes 20-25 minutes to regain the level of focus we had attained prior to the disruption. In addition, close to 50% of the time, we never even get back to our original task. So a 5 minute interruption really costs you 30 minutes of time off task….and a strong possibility you’ll never get it done at all. A landmark study by Basex titled “The Cost of Not Paying Attention,” calculated that workplace interruptions cost the U.S. economy $588 billion a year. If the matter can wait until a more appropriate time, let it. http://juliemorgenstern.com/blog/?pID=7
Social networking facts:
· LinkedIn launched on May 5, 2003
· Myspace was launched in August 2003
· Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004
· Twitter was created in March 2006
Employees need to constantly re-connect when having to deal with:
Having to attend to issues (i.e. calls to the school, to the attorney etc.)
They may completely lose a thought which can cause a missed deadline, missed assignment, missed meeting and any number of
On average, we experience one interruption every 8 minutes or approximately 6-7 per hour. In
an 8-hour day, that totals around 50-60 interruptions in the day. The average interruption takes
approximately 5 minutes. If you are receiving 50 interruptions in the day and each takes 5
minutes, that totals 250 minutes, or just over 4 hours out of 8, or about 50% of the workday. © 2002 CubeSmart, Inc. http://www.cubedoor.com
Think of this in terms of your workplace. If you implement an ongoing program that specifically addresses domestic violence and relationship abuse, you will be the hero of the organization that saves 6 digits from the bottom line. Think what that will do for your organization, you and the morale of your workforce. Think of the potential litigation you may avoid. Your organization has everything to gain in terms of:
· Reducing turnover
· Increasing productivity
· Reducing time spent on employee issues
· Mitigating negligent retention/negligent hiring
· Improving corporate image and reputation
· Increasing safety of employees
· Strengthening legal defense & reduce legal fees
· Increasing EAP utilization
We are here to help you do just that. All it takes is one call to (480) 726-9833 to get started.
Talk to you soon!
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
By guest blogger Erika Evans for Human Resource Essential
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Teen dating violence is too common and statistics show that it is as common as family violence and domestic violence. One out of 3 teenage girls are victims of verbal, physical or sexual abuse by their partner. These numbers are much higher than any other type of teen violence. It is important for parents and educators to know the signs and to talk openly about it. There is a myth that “dating” cannot lead to violence but knowing that there are people to confide in opens up the opportunity for girls to reach out. There are several different resources such as loveisrespect.org where girls can take an interactive quiz about their relationship and learn different steps to protect themselves and get help.
The effects of teen dating violence are both traumatic and damaging. It could be loss of interest in academics, isolation, increased use of substances, pregnancy and/ or sexual assault. The long term effects could be low self-esteem, eating disorder, higher risk for suicide or a future of domestic violence. In most cases the relationship seems great at first and love may blind the warning signs. As time goes on it changes into power and control, jealousy and anger. Verbal abuse and emotional abuse are threats, bulling, isolating and stalking. Physical abuse is the intention to physically harm someone or to strike them and sexual abuse is any act that impacts the person’s ability to control their sexual activity.
I spoke with A.S, a 17 year old female that was in a relationship with her boyfriend for almost 2 years. She told me that her boyfriend started their relationship by giving her gifts and always putting her up on a pedestal. Within the first few weeks he wanted to spend all of his time with her and she said that it made her feel good. I asked if she would spend time apart from him. She said there were times when she would try to see her girlfriends but he would grow angry and say cruel things to her. She said that one day she was so scared to see him because she was late to meet him that she showed up crying and he said that she looks ugly when she cries and left her stranded.
I asked A.S. if they had an intimate relationship. She told me that she lost her virginity to him because he would tell her that if she really loved him she would have sex with him and that he would break up with her if she didn’t. She says that she regrets doing it now because she feels disgusting and dirty. I asked her if she could see when the abuse was starting to escalate. She said that he had gone from name calling to screaming at her to throwing and punching stuff but he never physically harmed her. I asked her when they broke up and she told me that they were playing kickball one day with school mates and she was talking to the first baseman when she was on first base. She said that he boyfriend became so angry that he and his friends beat the boy up and he refused to talk to her for days.
I asked her if she had ever spoken to anyone about what was going on. She told me that she finally had talked to her mother about it after the kickball incident. She said that her mother was very supportive but also disappointed that she didn’t come to her for help sooner. She said if it wasn’t for her mother’s support she probably would have gone back to her boyfriend after the incident but instead she never spoke to him again. I asked A.S. if she had any advice for girls that may be going through the same thing. Her response was to share it with someone they trust so they can help you and you can help yourself and to remember that no matter what may happen it is not their fault.
Last week I had the privilege of being a Table Host at the annual Sojourner Center Hope Luncheon, the Center’s biggest fundraiser and awareness event of the year. Approximately 1,000 people attended the luncheon at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix.
The Master of Ceremonies was Carl Mangold, LCSW, LISAC (also my co-founder in TheDVU) and speakers were: Connie Phillips, MSW, Executive Director of Sojourner Center, Julie Peterson, Jackie Valencia and Lorraine Bergman.
I had invited several people who are near and dear to my heart; friends and collegues whom I thought would enjoy the event and care deeply about the issue of domestic violence in our state. My guests were:
After the event, a couple guests emailed me with these comments:
“I appreciate the invite, and am very happy to support this incredibly worthwhile organization. What a great cause and very well done.”
“I had no idea that many people are being turned away when they need help – sad state of affairs”
According to an email from Sojourner Center the day following the Nov. 8, 2012 Hope Luncheon, the preliminary results are:
- 438 One time donors: $92,125
- 22 pledges: $5,125
- 60 Friends of Sojourner (those who pledge to give for multiple years): $17,960
- 31 New Sojourner Center Truth Society (pledging $1000+ annually for the next five years) Members: $203,000
- 6 Sojourner Center Truth Society Members increased pledges: $ 38,750
- Preliminary for 2012 Hope Luncheon: $358,060
I was pleased to share this exciting information. One of the guests, at my table, emailed me with this question:
“Just wondering – is that more than they need for operating expenses so they can open the other beds? Was a bit surprised that Sojourner couldn’t raise the operating expenses given the number of people and corporate sponsors. But of course I have no idea what the issue is.”
I forwarded the questions to Sojourner Center, Executive Director, Connie Phillips, who responded:
“It is not what we need to reopen but it keeps us set for this year’s operating expenses. The reality is that we still have a deficit even with the strong response. As Lorraine said, we actually have lost well over $1million since the recession began. We are simply treading water.”
Clearly Sojourner Center is still in need of on-going support. You can make that happen with your donation, including the Working Poor Tax Credit. It’s is easy and costs you nothing!
Simply make a donation to Sojourner Center by December 31, 2012, up to $200 per individual or $400 per couple, and include AZDOR Form 321 when you file your 2012 AZ state income tax.
You can make your tax credit eligible donation securely online at the Sojourner Center website by CLICKING HERE.
Help make sure that no woman or child who needs a bed at this shelter is ever turned away!