Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grand Opening Celebration

Our grand opening celebration is almost here. On Friday we will celebrate the transformation of our Independence campus, and the hard work and accomplishments of so many.

Our campaign included constructing a new Therapy building and renovating the four existing buildings on our campus. What an incredible change. The campus is absolutely beautiful and we are so excited about all of the services we will be able to provide our clients.

The therapy building includes three group rooms that are large enough to accommodate the growing number of clients seeking our therapy services. It includes three observation rooms to monitor students and interns in their work with our clients.

The building also includes a workout room and large space for kids to play when they are not able to be outdoors. We are so excited to be able to focus on the physical health of our clients and allow for opportunities that we have not been able to provide previously.

Our shelter was completely remodeled. It’s an absolutely beautiful space for the clients to live in as they recover from the trauma that they have experienced.

The old therapy building has a completely new function - it now houses our Community Partnership Building, which includes a medical/dental room, as well as a salon. We can now provide a well-equipped space for our community partners to offer their services to our clients, helping them to address their many needs.

We are thrilled to be at this juncture of our journey and are so grateful to everyone who has helped us to get here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Is Abuse?

I am very aware of how differently that question can be answered depending on who is answering and their frame of reference. I want to spend time today talking about physical abuse. This seems to be what most people think about when they think about domestic violence although it is only one form of abuse that domestic violence victims suffer.

The definition of physical abuse in Wikipedia is: abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.

Most often when we think of physical abuse we think of some very obvious ways such as hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, and choking. However there are other less thought of forms of physical abuse such as biting, denying needed medical care, depriving a person of sleep, or forcing someone to use drugs or alcohol against their will as well as attempts to drown, exposure to heat and cold, and poison. Unfortunately, the ways that abusers physically abuse their partners makes a long list. The clients that we serve have experienced all of these types of abuse, and more.

What we know from our experience in this work is that the abuse often doesn’t start as physical; it often starts as emotional abuse and then over time progresses into the physical realm. Research also shows that as the relationship continues, the abuse will most likely become progressively worse and intensify in severity. What may start out as a push or slap will most likely progress to shoving, punching and worse.

Much of our work with clients focuses on education and safety planning. We want to put them in the best position to make the necessary decisions about their lives and their future. Understanding the abuse is the first step in moving toward a life free of abuse.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Awareness Week for Crime Victims and Volunteers

This week we recognize and appreciate two very important groups of people: crime victims and volunteers. During this week we have an opportunity to pause and reflect on those in our country who have been victimized by crime and to honor those who offer service to them.

It seems fitting to me that we should honor these groups during the same week as they seem to go hand in hand, especially at Hope House. We provide vital services to victims of crime, and we could not begin to do what we do without the assistance of volunteers in every aspect of our agency.

The theme for this year's Crime Victims Awareness Week also seems appropriate for us at Hope House: “Reshaping the Future and Honoring the Past”. We are settling into our new Therapy Building, and enjoying the newly renovated Shelter, and Court and Legal Services Building. We are also celebrating the new Community Partnership Building. There we are creating new relationships with our community volunteers and offering them a place to give of their talents and services.

As we strive to do every day, we will continue to honor and serve the individuals who have been victimized as they work to put their lives back together. We will continue to be thankful for the wonderful and committed volunteers who help us provide life saving services every day. We couldn’t, nor would we want to, do it without them.

Both groups of individuals enlighten us and enrich us through their experiences and their strengths. We honor them and continue our commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Fling - April 16, 2011

Are you ready to head to Mexico? I know I am and you can join me on Saturday, April 16th as we present Spring Fling, Destination: Mexico.

This is our annual spring casino night which kicks off our event season. We moved the event into April hoping to avoid any chances of snow storms like we encountered last year. I am sure everyone remembers the spring snow storm we had last March? Yes, that was the day of our event and we were so blessed that over 160 people braved the weather and joined us in our festivities!

We will be at it again this year, playing roulette, craps, black jack, bingo and Texas hold ‘em. This year we’re very excited to be adding a giant plinko board and salsa dancing! So, there is something for everyone.

The doors will open at 6:30pm and gaming starts at 7pm. All festivities, including a live auction and prizes, will conclude by 10pm. Once again, the event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence, which is exit #17, less than a mile off I-70.

We have wonderful event chairs, Tiffany Goddard and Courtney Goddard-Hawkinson, who are working hard to ensure the event is a huge success.

Sponsorships start at $500 and individual tickets are only $50 each and include a themed-cuisine buffet, gaming cash, two drink tickets and assigned seating. So plan on attending and having a fun filled evening, while helping Hope House provide desperately needed services to those whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence.

Sponsorships, tickets and more information are available on our website. Or you can contact Libby at 816-257-9334 or We’re looking forward to seeing you on the 16th!