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211: Help Starts Here
We are very close to reaching our goal of building a wonderful new shelter in Cleveland County, NC for serving women and children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness! Help us “build hope” by visiting our GoFundMe page and donating to our building campaign!
Want to show support for survivors of rape and sexual assault in a unique way during Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Join us in recognizing Denim Day on Wednesday, April 29th by taking part in a Sexual Assault Awareness Walk around the court square in uptown Shelby! Here’s the who, what, when, where, and why?
Who can celebrate Denim Day?: Anyone can! Just choose to wear jeans or something denim on Wednesday, April 29th!
What are we doing? We are asking residents of Cleveland County to join us in walking 1,950 laps around the court square! Why 1,950? That’s how many reported incidents of sexual assault there were in North Carolina during the last year for which we have statistics.
When is the walk?: April 29th, 2015 from 11am until 2pm. You can come at anytime during those 3 hours, though! Stop by with your coworkers on your lunch break or drop in while you are out running an errand!
Where is is it?: It’s on the old court square in uptown Shelby! We’ll be starting from the corner of Warren and Lafayette St.
Why participate in the Sexual Assault Awareness Walk?: Because it’s a way to show your support for survivors of rape and sexual assault while also taking a stand against victim blaming attitudes! Please join us and advocates all around the world on April 29th, 2015 as we wear our jeans and other denim clothing items proudly to show support for victims and survivors and to take a stand (and a walk!)
Here is a sneak preview of what the Abuse Prevention Council’s new shelter will look like! Thanks to Talley & Smith Architecture we have this wonderful rendering of what we can expect once it is completed. We’re breaking ground on April 1st, 2014 (and that’s no prank!) and we’re very excited to see this dream finally become a reality!
$15,000 Verizon Grant to Fund Teen Dating Violence Prevention Efforts in Shelby
The Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council Plans Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Activities Aided by Verizon Foundation Donation.
SHELBY, N.C.—The Verizon Foundation has donated $15,000 to the Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council for teen dating violence prevention initiatives. The nonprofit’s programs will kick off in February, the month nationally designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
“Studies have found 30-50 percent of teen relationships are abusive in some aspect, with physical aggression occurring in one third of teen romantic relationships,” said Cathy Robertson, executive director of Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council. “We appreciate the Verizon Foundation and its generous grant that allows us to continue the work of protecting teens through preventative education on dating violence and healthy relationships. These funds will help us engage teens and work with teachers, counselors, youth leaders and parents in our community.”
“The Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council’s programs positively impact the lives of teens, and we are thrilled to partner with them to make a difference in Shelby,” said Julie Smith, vice president of external affairs for Verizon’s South Area. “The Verizon Foundation invests in organizations that effectively educate and raise awareness of relationship violence issues, and our goal is to fund efforts that prevent the cycle of abuse from continuing.”
The Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council offers presentations on healthy relationships, relationship “red flags” and resources for getting help. The nonprofit can customize programs to fit various environments at schools, clubs or other youth organizations.
For more information on Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month activities in Shelby, visit APCouncil.wordpress.com.
Media Contact: Karen Schulz | 864.987.2006 | email@example.com
About Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council
The Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council provides 24 hour, seven day a week crisis line services, shelter, court advocacy, Crisis Companion, case management, and individual and group counseling services for victims of domestic violence, rape or sexual assault; and shelter, case management and supportive housing for homeless women and children. For more information, visit www.apcouncil.wordpress.com.
About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit http://www.verizonfoundation.org ; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 101 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 178,300. For more information, visit http://www.verizon.com .
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Recently a newspaper in a neighboring county reported on a severe domestic violence incident which included charges for assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury with a minor present, cruelty to animals, and communicating threats. While the incident is recent and evidence is still being collected, I’ve noticed that while most commentators on the story have focused on the tragedy of the crime, sympathy for the child, and the cruelty shown to a defenseless animal, some commentators have chosen to focus on blaming the victim. “Don’t these women ever learn?” one commentator wrote. “They need to lock her [the victim] up for stupidity”, another posted. Domestic violence is tragic and far too prevalent, affecting around 1 in 4 women. It is neither rare nor endemic to any particular group, but it most certainly is a crime. To question a victim’s intelligence shows a lack of understanding of what the victim is experiencing and puts the blame on the victim. Why does she say? Here are a few questions we should ask ourselves:
Who earns the money? If the abusive partner in the relationship is the primary earner, this can make leaving difficult. Who owns the home? If the victim leaves, where can she go? People question why a victim pleads with a judge to drop charges. What happens if the abuser goes to jail and loses his job? Where is health insurance going to come from? Rent money? Food? Let’s explore this further; how has he threatened her in the past if she ever leaves? Abusers rarely stay in jail long, even if the victim fully cooperates with law enforcement. She knows he’ll be released at some point and due to everything she has experienced, she is probably much more afraid of him than of law enforcement or the court system. The most dangerous time for a victim is when she chooses to leave her abuser, and it’s never a choice made lightly. Domestic violence is about power and control and when the abuser feels like he has lost control over his victim, he may use his power in violent, lethal ways to regain that control over the victim.
It makes us feel safer, like our world is more rational and comprehendible, when we believe a victim in an abusive relationship can simply walk away. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Leaving a violent relationship is a process that can take years and requires great courage from the victim throughout. Instead of asking the question “Why does she stay?” can we instead ask the question, “Why does he abuse and how does he get away with it?” Let’s put the blame squarely on the shoulders of perpetrators of relationship violence and work to find ways that our justice system and communities can cooperate to ensure that we hold offenders accountable for their actions.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, rape, or sexual assault, please contact our 24 hour crisis line at 704-481-0043 for support and information, or visit us online at http://www.apcouncil.wordpress.com.