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February 16, 2018

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Vino Oasi presents their 4th Annual Hawg in the Hollar Music Festival.

Saturday, April 28, 2018     4:00 PM – 11:00 PM 

Families Living Violence Free has been chosen as this years charity.

Families Living Violence Free is Granville County’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Agency. Founded by Xavier Wortham and incorporated in 2004, Families Living Violence Free offers an array of services to victims and survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. 

Come out and support Vino Oasi and Families Living Violence Free!

Read more and purchase tickets here.

 

 

January 30, 2018

What to do if you learn someone you know is experiencing domestic violence? This video explains what you should and shouldn’t do.  

January 15, 2018

Four steps survivors can take when escaping with their pets

When escaping domestic violence, survivors are often worried about pets’ safety if left with the abuser, and whether a domestic violence shelter can accommodate pets. And there’s a good reason why.
“Abusers will take their aggression or threats out on the animals, as a way to keep [survivors] in line and to warn [survivors and their families] that harm will befall them and the animals unless they comply with the abuser’s demands,” Phil Arkow, ASPCA consultant and coordinator of the National Link Coalition, an organization working to end violence against both people and animals.
“The result is that thousands of people are trapped in abusive relationships because of their concern for animals’ welfare,” he says. “There can be an extended period of time where the survivor, children and animals are living under a cloud of abuse and risk.”
To the point, a New Zealand study found that people may stay in an abusive relationship for up to two years because factors like finding care for pets make it difficult to leave.
“Animal abuse and domestic violence are often both caused by the same dynamic of power and control,” adds Arkow. “Abusers will use whatever weapons they have available to intimidate and control, and that frequently includes pets.” Arkow points out that abusers may also target pets that belong to friends and family members who help survivors.
Establishing Pet Custody
Because pets are typically seen in the eyes of the law as personal property, the concept of ownership plays a role in custody and is important to consider establishing. While you may not experience a dispute over where an animal ultimately resides, it is better to prepare for the possibility.
Who purchased or adopted the pet? Who paid for the pet’s needs? Since these are some of the questions that may arise in establishing ownership, survivors can put themselves and their pets in a better position by ensuring the paperwork regarding animals is their names, including adoption certificates, licenses, rabies vaccinations, microchips, vet bills, pet food bills and pedigree papers.
It is important to know that some courts are beginning to consider the animal’s best interest in determining custody. So even with the right documentation, being prepared to prove things like who served as the animal’s companion in training classes, who arranged for feeding and grooming, who exercised the animals and who managed the other routine needs of the animal can be influential.
Finding Your Pet Shelter
A growing number of domestic violence shelters are making accommodations for pets. In the event your local domestic violence shelter isn’t one of them, ask instead about short-term animal care offered to survivors through local human societies, SPCAs, veterinarians and other community agencies.
If you are working with a domestic violence shelter, safe escape grants can help cover the costs of boarding your pet. There are also these four online resources to help locate shelter alternatives:
Planning Your Safety Kit
When you get ready to leave an abuser, you may have to do so in a hurry. Packing important things ahead of time in a safety planning kit, and keeping that kit somewhere where the abuser can’t find it, such as a friend or relative’s house, your car or your place of work, will help you be prepared when the time comes to escape. For yourself and any children, you’ll want to pack clothing, cash, credit cards, spare car keys, your driver’s license and other identification, important documents, and anything that can provide evidence of abuse.
For your pet, include a few days’ worth of pet food and any necessary supplies, such as a collar with ID tags and a leash, as well as vaccination records. If you’re concerned that an abusive partner may try to claim ownership of your pet, be sure your safety kit includes copies of any related paperwork, such as licenses or vet bills, that are in your name. If packing the papers isn’t feasible, store scans or digital photos of them on a secure drive or send them to a private email account.
Protecting Your Pet Under the Law
You may also be able to seek legal protection. State legislators are taking action in domestic violence cases involving animals, in part because legislators are beginning to see the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence, Arkow says. “We’ve seen some dramatic improvements there,” Arkow says. In 30 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, animals can specifically be included in domestic violence protection orders. And bills are pending in several other states that would add similar protections for domestic violence survivors and their pets.
“We only have one state, Minnesota, with any data about how often the feature is used and it’s quite extensive. Thousands of people have taken advantage of it,” Arkow says.
In addition, in seven states (Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Indiana, Tennessee and Maine), an act of violence against an animal in a domestic violence context can be defined not only as animal cruelty but also as an act of domestic violence. “It gives prosecutors two ways to charge the offender,” Arkow points out.
Advocates nationwide are working to get states to impose stiffer penalties for animal cruelty in the presence of a child. And one state – Alaska – has a bill pending that would allow judges to award custody of animals based on what would be in the animal’s best interest. “It’s similar to how they would handle a child custody case,” Arkow says. “We’ve never seen that anywhere before.”

December 29, 2017

Many Survivors Fearful to File Restraining Orders. Debate continues as to whether or not they’re too easy, or too difficult, to obtain.

“It’s just a piece of paper.”

Many survivors of domestic violence are still under the impression that an order of protection, or restraining order, carries no more weight than the paper it’s printed on. In other words, they’re doubtful of a restraining order’s ability to protect them. 

In one previous study, the National Institute of Justice found that approximately half of the restraining orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated, which means the other half of the orders did, to some extent, help to keep a batterer at bay.

Still, studies show that survivors will endure multiple years of abuse before obtaining a restraining order, a fact that disheartens Silvia Samsa, who’s been advocating for domestic violence survivors for more than 30 years and counting. As the executive director of Women’s Habitat, a domestic violence shelter and outreach center in Etobicoke, Ontario Canada. “They’re absolutely important. Some people think it’s only a piece of paper, but it’s clearly saying what [the perpetrator] has done is against the law and you cannot assume you have complete access to this person you’ve been abusive to,” Samsa says.

However, she fears the majority of abuse survivors in Canada choose not to get a restraining order for several reasons. “A lot of women are fearful of having the police involved. They’re worried their partner will go to jail, and if he goes to jail then he’s not working.” And, adds Samsa, many women still have no idea a restraining order is even an option.

“Wouldn’t it be lovely if restraining orders were done automatically when police are called? Lots of times, the criteria to get a restraining order is quite high,” says Samsa. In essence, a survivor in Canada needs to prove to the courts that she needs one. Survivors of non-physical types of abuse, like verbal or mental abuse, or stalking, are often met with skepticism, she says.

In the United States, restraining orders have long faced debate—domestic violence advocates say they’re a necessary tool to help protect survivors from continued abuse, while opponents argue they’re too easy to obtain and are often used as a litigation strategy or a form of retaliation. 

Yet, with an average of three deaths occurring every day in the U.S. as a result of domestic violence, and a woman being beaten every three seconds by an intimate partner (the majority of victims are women, but one in four U.S. men will also experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes) many believe offering restraining orders without complication is key to saving lives.

“I think the whole issue of abuse is not an easy one to deal with, it’s very complex,” says Samsa. “Instead of asking, ‘Why doesn’t she leave? Why doesn’t she get a restraining order?’ why are we not asking, ‘Why is he abusive?’”

December 11, 2017

“It’s just a piece of paper.”

Many survivors of domestic violence are still under the impression that an order of protection, or restraining order, carries no more weight than the paper it’s printed on. In other words, they’re doubtful of a restraining order’s ability to protect them. 

In one previous study, the National Institute of Justice found that approximately half of the restraining orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated, which means the other half of the orders did, to some extent, help to keep a batterer at bay.

Still, studies show that survivors will endure multiple years of abuse before obtaining a restraining order, a fact that disheartens Silvia Samsa, who’s been advocating for domestic violence survivors for more than 30 years and counting. As the executive director of Women’s Habitat, a domestic violence shelter and outreach center in Etobicoke, Ontario Canada. “They’re absolutely important. Some people think it’s only a piece of paper, but it’s clearly saying what [the perpetrator] has done is against the law and you cannot assume you have complete access to this person you’ve been abusive to,” Samsa says.

However, she fears the majority of abuse survivors in Canada choose not to get a restraining order for several reasons. “A lot of women are fearful of having the police involved. They’re worried their partner will go to jail, and if he goes to jail then he’s not working.” And, adds Samsa, many women still have no idea a restraining order is even an option.

“Wouldn’t it be lovely if restraining orders were done automatically when police are called? Lots of times, the criteria to get a restraining order is quite high,” says Samsa. In essence, a survivor in Canada needs to prove to the courts that she needs one. Survivors of non-physical types of abuse, like verbal or mental abuse, or stalking, are often met with skepticism, she says.

In the United States, restraining orders have long faced debate—domestic violence advocates say they’re a necessary tool to help protect survivors from continued abuse, while opponents argue they’re too easy to obtain and are often used as a litigation strategy or a form of retaliation. 

Yet, with an average of three deaths occurring every day in the U.S. as a result of domestic violence, and a woman being beaten every three seconds by an intimate partner (the majority of victims are women, but one in four U.S. men will also experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes) many believe offering restraining orders without complication is key to saving lives.

“I think the whole issue of abuse is not an easy one to deal with, it’s very complex,” says Samsa. “Instead of asking, ‘Why doesn’t she leave? Why doesn’t she get a restraining order?’ why are we not asking, ‘Why is he abusive?’”

EXTREMELY DANGEROUS BEHAVIORS INCLUDE:

  • Owns a gun

  • Has used weapons in prior in abusive relationships

  • Has threatened to kill anyone or anything or self

  • Hurts children or animals

  • Has strangled a partner

  • Has forced a partner to have sex

  • Has assaulted a pregnant woman

  • Assaults in front of other people

  • Violates Court Orders or Restraining Orders

  • Alcohol or drug use

  • Stalks anyone for any reason

  • Repeat offenses of this list

November 14, 2017

Shielding your home address from your abuser is possible with a program available in 38 states

In the Information Age, almost anyone can be a private investigator, including stalkers and abusers. It’s fairly simple for most anyone to find your address through online public records, such as driver’s license and voter registration databases. That’s why it’s important for survivors of domestic violence to consider keeping their personal information, particularly their home address, private. And before anyone gets any ideas, we should mention it’s illegal to report a false address to a public agency. Fortunately, in most states, you don’t need to skirt the law or be tech-savvy to protect yourself.Thirty-eight states offer Address Confidentiality Programs to help protect the whereabouts of survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. The programs assign survivors a legal substitute address—usually a P.O. box—they can use anytime a public agency requires an address. For instance, a P.O. box would appear on your license, car registration and voter ID card rather than your physical address.Once you have a substitute address, all first-class mail would be forwarded from the P.O. box to your physical address. Each state’s program has its own eligibility requirements, but most require the applicant to be listed as a victim of a specific crime, be a state resident and have recently moved to an address unknown to his or her abuser. Advocates at domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers can assist survivors in determining eligibility and applying for the program.Of course, signing up for an address confidentiality program doesn’t guarantee your abuser won’t find out where you live. It is only one step in reducing the risk of being located through public information. Taking other privacy precautions is important if you’re concerned about your safety at home, including:

  • Not checking in on (or using) social media or allowing friends to tag you in posts that indicate your whereabouts.
  • Taking a different route to school/work each day.
  • Not giving out your address to anyone who doesn’t absolutely need to have it and who you trust implicitly.
  • Changing your routine, such as your daily coffeehouse run or your favorite lunch spots.
  • Telling your employer (if you feel comfortable) about your abuser so security staff can be on the lookout for him or her on campus and alert the authorities.
  • Changing jobs, schools or phone numbers as necessary.

 

November 1, 2017

Why We Should Stop Asking Why Didn’t She Leave?

Oftentimes, when we read about domestic abuse in the media, we seem to be reading more so about the victims. “Why didn’t she leave?” seems to be the golden rule in reporting about abuse. It really is a question we need to stop asking. Why not ask “why he continues to abuse her?” or even more important “how can I help?”

Let’s Shift the Blame Away From Victims:

Perhaps we don’t even have to change the question all together, we just need it to shift its focus. Perhaps the question really should be “why couldn’t she leave?”

It is crucial that we shift blame away from victims to avoid revictimizing. They have been blamed by their abusers enough. This is the “big lie” that abusers tell their victims to keep them in place. Because by telling the victim they are to blame for their situation, they feel it is up to them to “Fix”’ the situation. I know I keep hammering on about this, but nothing about abuse has anything to do with the target. It is ALL about the abuser. Abuse is not losing your patience, it is structurally and consistently destroying someone. That is something the abuser chooses to do, the target does not have a say in that.

The question really is not “why didn’t she leave?” because that makes her responsible for the abuse, it implies she makes herself available to abuse. When we begin asking “why couldn’t she leave?” instead we exam the circumstances under which the abuse was allowed and able to continue.

Why Are We Only Asking About Her?
There seems to be a very persistent gender-stereotype that targets of abuse are always women and perpetrators are always men. Looking at the statistics though, that is a very distorted idea. Academic Surveys overwhelmingly show that men are victims as frequently or more frequently than woman. 

It really would help tremendously if we can start asking why HE was unable to leave HER, at least half of the time!

Why Are We Even Questioning This?
Why are we so busy asking victims to justify their stories and decisions anyway? The most important question by far is:” How can I help?” followed closely by “How can we prevent this from happening so much?”

Domestic Violence happens all around the world. Yet, we still feel uncomfortable talking about it.

As long as we keep asking “Why didn’t she leave?” nothing is going to change!

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