Thursday, May 31, 2012

Help Hope House Win $50,000

Hope House is participating in Cultivate Wines: The Give
We are excited to have been chosen to participate in an online competition to win $50,000 through the "Cultivate Wines: The Give" competition.  You can help Hope House win the top prize by voting every day. The top six programs all win money, so your vote is so important.

The competition runs from May 1 to June 30. With the $50,000 prize money, we will provide 1,666 safe nights of shelter, which will protect 21 families of three for 26 days, which is the average length of stay in our shelter.

Here's a quick video about how The Give works.

You can vote using your Facebook login - no need to register! Please help us protect victims of domestic violence by voting every day.

Please use this link to vote now.

Please spread the word by forwarding this email or posting to your Facebook page. You and your friends can make a difference in someone's life!

Must be 21 to vote in this competition.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hope House Named Business of the Year

In March I wrote about our nomination for the Res in Motus (Business of the Year) award through the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce. The award is a celebration of business and non-profit contributions to the community.

There are several categories based on business size. All nominees were asked to complete an application for consideration. The application process was intense, but thought provoking.

At the Chamber luncheon in March, it was announced that Hope House was one of the top three nominees for the award. The next step in the multi-step process was an interview with members of the committee.

We were thrilled to meet with three distinguished Lee’s Summit Chamber Business members and to have the opportunity to visit with them about Hope House. We were able to share with them our passion for the work we do and the impact we have on the community, and show them our work first hand.

Then we waited. 

The interview took place in mid-April and the final winners were not announced until the May 18th Chamber luncheon.  We attended the luncheon and learned that Hope House was the winner in the Sanctimonia (non-profit) category!

 We are so happy to be a part of this community and excited to be the winners of this award.  Our thanks to the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce for this honor, and to Tina Stidham, New Age Graphics, for nominating us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Most Common Myth

Don't ask "Why does she stay?" Ask "Why does he do that?"
I have spent some time blogging about common myths about domestic violence.  Here’s the one that is the most frustrating for me to explain and dispel:

"Victims like the abuse, otherwise they would leave."

To me, it’s obvious that women do not like to be abused. They do not enjoy being beaten, called horrible names, and having no control over their lives. 

They do leave.  They do try to end the relationship. Women leave abusive relationships every day. But when they leave, they face many obstacles and challenges, like continued abuse and stalking by their partner.

Last year I shared with you the story of Katie Piper. She broke things off with her boyfriend. He stalked her for days, and then hired someone to attack her with acid. 

It happens a lot: women leave, and then they are stalked and killed.  We have already had more than one domestic violence homicide this year in KC where women were in the process of leaving their abusers. It’s scary to realize that we’re still in the first half of the year.

Rather than asking “Why does she stay?” let’s start focusing on the abuser and his motivations for staying in the relationship. Ask yourself why a man would want to stay in a relationship when he thinks:
  • She never does anything right. I'll have to teach her a lesson. 
  • She’s always cheating on me. I saw the way she looked at the cashier at the grocery store.
  • I just can’t trust her, so I’ll have to put a GPS on her car so I know where she is.
Changing which side of the relationship you’re looking at changes everything, doesn’t it?

Victims of domestic violence do not ask for the abuse. They do not deserve the abuse, and they certainly do not enjoy it. It is a vicious cycle and one that must be stopped. Two of the first steps to ending it are education and availability of services. We are working on addressing both of those issues.

Monday, May 14, 2012

National Violence Survey Results

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released the results from their first National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS).  The CDC website describes the survey as:

“The survey collects data on past-year experiences of violence as well as lifetime experiences of violence. The 2010 survey is the first year of the survey and provides baseline data that will be used to track trends in sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence (IPV). CDC developed NISVS to better describe and monitor the magnitude of these forms of violence in the United States.”

The results of the survey were not surprising, but at the same time frustrating, as it show how desperately our work is still needed. The findings from the 2010 survey show that intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual assault are widespread in our country. The findings highlight the severity of the violence and lifelong health consequences.
  • 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey
  • Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime
  • 1 in 6 women have been stalked during their lifetime
  • 1 in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner
  • 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime
  • 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking in their lifetime
  • 1 in 7 men experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner
The CDC report summarizes what is going on in our country: 

“Overall, lifetime and one year estimates for sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence were alarmingly high for adult Americans; with intimate partner violence (IPV) alone affecting more than 12 million people each year. 

Women are disproportionately impacted. They experienced high rates of severe IPV, rape and stalking, and long-term chronic disease and other health impacts such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms. 

NISVS also shows that most rape and IPV is first experienced before age 24, highlighting the importance of preventing this violence before it occurs to ensure that all people can live life to their fullest potential”.

We have a lot of work still to do. Thank you for helping us serve the thousands of people in our metro area that are impacted by these crimes every day. 

To see the full report you can go to

Thursday, May 3, 2012

He Has A Crush On You

I happened across a blog posting that I thought was brilliant and so on target. The blog is called Views from the Couch, written by the Queen of the Couch. The topic for her post this particular day was called "You Didn’t Thank Me for Punching You in the Face".  As you can imagine, that caught my attention so I read the blog and all I could say was, “Yes! Way to go!” What a brilliant way to discuss the concept of how we talk to our young children about abusive behaviors.

This blog was about how, as little girls, many of us were taught that when young boys pull our hair, hit or tease us, their behavior is excused because it means “he likes you”. 

The blogger shares an experience of her daughter having her bracelets physically stolen off of her arm by a classmate. She went to the school to address the incident with the teacher. The teacher responded by smiling and explaining it away to her daughter by saying “he probably has a crush on you”.  

When we teach our children that this type of behavior is acceptable and a form of flattery, we are setting our children up to fail, both boys and girls. We need to teach our children that when we like someone, we show them that in respectful ways, not verbally and physically abusive ways.

When abusive behaviors are considered forms of flattery, we perpetuate the notion that violence, whether verbal or physical, is okay, teaching long standing patterns of behavior that are destructive to children and adults. How do you go from learning the behavior is flattery as a young child, to knowing as an adult that it isn’t flattery, but abuse? You don’t without a great deal of difficulty.

As I have said many times before, the only way we are going to stop abuse is to break the cycle with our children by teaching appropriate behavior and boundaries. If a boy doesn’t know how to show a girl he likes her, then let’s teach him the right ways rather than condoning abusive behaviors and setting up long term inappropriate patterns of behavior.

If you want to read the entire blog post I mentioned earlier, you can read it here. ALERT: This blog contains a great deal of cursing, if you are opposed to this type of language, I would urge you not to read this blog.