Protecting

24/7 Acute Intervention Services. Safe Emergency Shelter at Harbor House. Personal Protection Orders.

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Counseling

24/7 Help Line. Individual Counseling and Support Groups.

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Educating

Stopping the cycle of violence, reducing harm, saving lives.

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Advocating

Resource Support. Victim Housing Activism. Court Support.

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The Women's Center, Inc. supports victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Alger and Marquette Counties through programs that Protect, Educate, Advocate, Counsel and Empower! (PEACE).

The Women's Center believes that every individual is entitled to dignity and respect, and that women and men should be treated equally under the law and by society in general. No individual should be discriminated against or limited by society based on age, sex, career choice, sexual orientation, or other circumstances of legitimate life choices. The Women's Center provides services in a non-judgmental and supportive manner to individuals as they make decisions for their lives. The Women's Center advocates for change in the larger society to eliminate bias and to enhance the ability of all individuals to be fully functioning members of society.

BULLETIN

NEWS

Season of Giving

Keep The Women’s Center In  Mind During This Season of Giving

‘Tis the season for giving.  And we are blessed to live and work in such a generous community. We hope while you are out and about this holiday season, you will remember The Women’s Center in your giving plans.

We shelter more than 120 women, children, and men each year, as well as provide counseling and other services to our clients. Our organization could not function without our big-hearted donors.

Here are a few ways you can give to The Women’s Center this year:

Support Our Shelter Mortgage Matching Campaign. The Women’s Center’s biggest and most important campaign of 2018 is our Shelter Mortgage Matching Campaign. Our thoughtful donors, Rod and Holly Aldrich, have offered to match any donation in 2018 directed at paying off our shelter mortgage debt of $507,000. Freeing up monthly bank mortgage payments would mean so much to our operating budget. This additional money could go right to client needs. Please help us reach this goal before the end of the year by clicking here.

Donate Items to Harbor House. As most people prepare their homes for the holidays, our Harbor House clients prepare to spend this year away from theirs. We always accept basic household donations at Harbor House like toilet paper, paper towel, or more personal hygiene items. But special holiday treats for parents and kids would make this difficult time easier. Gift cards to downtown area Marquette businesses are a nice option and help our whole community.

Bring Extras to Pak Ratz. As you prepare to decorate and open your homes to family and friends, you may find yourself doing a bit of clutter reduction. Maybe there are decorations in perfectly good condition that no longer suit your style. Or maybe you encourage your kids to pass along outgrown toys to make room for new Christmas morning surprises. Whatever the case, bring your extras down to Pak Ratz! While you are there, do a bit of shopping yourself and cross a few people off your list. You can feel good knowing all the proceeds go right back into the Women’s Center mission!

Sponsor Our Fundraisers. The Women’s Center staff and board work hard to create engaging fundraisers like this year’s “A Night Out.” We are always looking for event sponsors, clever baskets to raffle, and gift certificates.

Make a New Year’s Resolution. Make your New Year’s resolution early this year by wrapping up your 2019 giving goals now. Consider helping us pay our monthly bills in 2019. Can you cover our electric bill for a month (or more) in 2019? Could you donate to cover our advertising costs for promoting Pak Ratz? All of these leave us more money to pay for client’s healthcare co-pays, bus tickets, and children’s school supplies, to name just a few.

We thank all who support The Women’s Center and our clients on a year-round basis. Your donations are always appreciated and we are grateful.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

From the Staff and Board of The Women’s Center

 

Are you a survivor of sexual assault and/or rape?

The University of Hawai’i is conducting a study:Examining Healing Trajectories for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault

Are you a survivor of sexual assault and/or rape?

Would you like to share your experience in healing to help improve services for survivors?

If the answer is YES . . .

If you are a survivor of sexual assault and/or rape, please consider participating in a study exploring the types of therapeutic services and healing practices that are used by survivors. The study is an anonymous online survey that will take approximately 30 minutes to complete with an optional follow-up phone interview for survivors who are interested. The purpose of this study is to increase awareness and understanding of the healing process after sexual violence in order to hopefully improve services for survivors. If you are interested in participating or would like more information please visit: https://manoahawaiiss.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3EtYqzHDamy2wbH

If you have any questions, please contact Christine Weingarten, the principal investigator, at cweinga@hawaii.edu. Thank you!

 

Women’s Center Encourages Voting

Women’s Center Encourages Voting

 

Here at the Women’s Center, we want to encourage everyone to vote.

 

This November, the voters of Alger and Marquette County will have the opportunity to vote for candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. Additionally, Michigan voters will have the ability to make their voices heard on statewide ballot referendums as well as local millage requests.

 

The Women’s Center is on the frontlines and understands how different policies affect domestic violence survivors in many ways. We urge you to take a look at the candidates running for office and vote for those who support the initiatives that will help domestic violence survivors in Marquette and Alger counties.

Legislation Affects Domestic Violence Survivors

 

Here are a few of the issues that affect the Women’s Center and the people we serve:

 

  • Economic Security Concerns including:
    • Equal Pay
    • Paid Maternity Leave
    • Paid Family Leave
    • Paid Medical Leave
    • Affordable Health Care
    • Liveable Wages
    • Affordable Childcare

 

  • Gun Violence
    • Especially measures that close loopholes for abusers to possess or obtain firearms

 

 

Thank you for considering these issues as you vote this year.

Voting Absentee Is Easy

 

If you are not able to be in town or will have difficulty getting to a polling place on November 6, please utilize absentee ballot voting. It really is quite easy.

 

Just stop by your city or township clerk’s office during normal business hours and ask for an absentee voter ballot application. Or you can request an absentee ballot application by mail at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8716_8728-21037–,00.html

 

You will have to name one of six reasons in order to vote absentee. Here are the reasons that are listed:

 

  • Age 60 or older
  • Unable to vote without assistance at the polls
  • Expecting to be out of town on election day
  • In jail awaiting arraignment or trial
  • Unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
  • Appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence

 

If you choose to get your ballot at your clerk’s office, you will have the option to fill it out there, in private, and return it to the clerk immediately. Or, you may take it home and return it to the office, either in person or by mail.

 

The ballot must be received by 8 pm on election day to be counted. You must be a registered voter to receive an absentee ballot.

Thank You For Voting

 

We thank you for your continued support of the Women’s Center’s mission through your donations, shopping at Pak Ratz resale shop, continued prayers, and your participation in this year’s voting process.

 

If you know someone who is in need of our services, please let them know we can help. Do not hesitate to have them call us at (906) 225-1346.

The Loneliness of Domestic Violence

The Loneliness of Domestic Violence

Alt title: Why You Feel Alone

In many crises, one of the first things counselors and loved ones will tell you is that you aren’t alone. If you are going through cancer treatment, are in financial trouble, or suffer from anxiety, a million websites and friends will explain how you aren’t the only one suffering and that support is a phone call away. Unfortunately, though supporters often say the same thing about domestic violence, it’s hard for victims to accept the truth of that statement.

Why You Feel Alone

The loneliness of abuse starts at the earliest stages of a relationship. Abusers isolate their victims, not just physically, but emotionally. People who suffer from abusive situations believe they are alone because their partners – people who victims love and trust despite abuse — tell them they are. The seeds of isolation tend to start in the beginning, where an eventual abuser criticizes friends and family. Victims in this stage often feel pressure, even if it’s emotional rather than physical, to disassociate from other people who love them. By the time physical or more severe emotional abuse begins, victims feel too disconnected from other relationships to tell anyone what’s happening.

Abusers often tell their victims that the violence they perpetrate is the fault of victims. Abusers may feel remorse for the violence but, in their “apologies,” explain that it wouldn’t happen if only the victims didn’t or did act in a certain way. At the Women’s Center, we want to you to know this isn’t true – abuse is never an answer and perpetrators of violence should be the ones feeling shame. However, even if victims don’t believe this in their mind, their hearts often trust their abusers, meaning they feel like they did something to deserve the abuse and too are ashamed to talk about it.  That shame is isolating.

But it’s not the only shame victims of abuse must overcome. People who try to help victims inadvertently isolate them by suggesting that they are “better than that.” Victims interpret this as, if I’m better than that but can’t leave, then something must be wrong with me. Other times, friends may say “how could you let him/her do this to you,” making it difficult for victims to ask for help. Advocates and allies mean well, but victim-blaming is another isolating factor for those suffering from domestic violence.

But You Aren’t Alone

When you feel like no one understands what you are going through, consider the following stats:

  • Almost 20 people a minute suffer abuse at the hands of an intimate partner in the U.S. In one year, that’s over 10 million people.
  • One in three women and one in four men have experienced physical abuse by a domestic partner in their lifetime.
  • On an average day, domestic violence hotlines receive more than 20,000 calls nationwide.
  • Domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Just 34% of people who suffer domestic violence seek medical care, despite injury.

That’s a lot of people being very quiet about real suffering. If you’re suffering from domestic violence, trust us when we tell you that you aren’t alone. At the Women’s Center, we offer help when you need it, but we also want you to know others have traveled this path and come out on the other side happier and healthier. You can, too. Contact us for help leaving an abusive relationship.