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

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.

How to Avoid Being Triggered by the News Cycle

How to Avoid Being Triggered by the News Cycle

Whether you follow politics or not, the recent news cycle has been rife with stories of sexual assault and abuse. For people who are recovering from physical violence, some of these stories – even the ones told in solidarity – can be a psychological trigger. A trigger is something that ignites memories of victims’ past trauma, causing further anxiety. A trigger can cause hours, days, or even weeks of emotional pain. If strolling through social media or watching TV has been difficult for you lately, here are some ways to avoid being triggered by what’s happening in the world.

Some people might suggest simply not watching the news during these times, but it can be impossible. The worst of the stories show up on all social media sites, and people share them without thinking about how others will react to the worst of these. From the Kavanaugh hearings to the various news reports regarding Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen, and Harvey Weinstein, among others, most of these mainstream media stories are trying to the change the world for the better by exposing predators. Some of that change, unfortunately, involves retelling stories of such trauma that hearers who have suffered violence must relive painful instances.

Negotiating a Traumatic Past When Assault Dominates the News

During this time of change for the nation, where we feel both relief that these stories are being told and fear those stories might be a trigger of past trauma, those who have suffered violence must protect themselves. Some of that involves creating an emotional toolkit to guard against the worst of these storms.

Here are some ways to help you with triggers when sexual violence is always the news lede.

  1. Plan for a calm moment. Sometimes, awareness is the only protection you have. Practice self-care by having a plan in place when you know the news cycle will involve triggers for you. If you’re reading Facebook and a story pops up that triggers trauma, have something in mind that you can do – meditate, go for a walk, or call a friend – so you don’t have to think about the next steps.
  2. Put on a timer. It can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of digital life or mainstream news, but if you set a timer, you can catch up and give yourself the time you need to recover. It’s tough going from news to real life, so add some time to do something positive if you’re feeling anxious.
  3. Support each other. If the news cycle is triggering for you, you can bet you’re not the only one. Take to social media and plan blackout for victims times for victims of domestic assault. Create a coffee date for those in your circle to talk about how they are handling what’s happening. Be active. When you become a leader for those who are suffering, it can help you handle the trauma you’ve faced.

It’s Okay to Switch It Off

Remember, you’re allowed to take some time away from the news. You don’t owe it to anyone to be in the “know” regarding current Supreme Court shakedowns, pop culture happenings, or even sports drama if it is a trigger. It also might help to know that things will get better. Healing after a trauma doesn’t happen in a line; some days are going to be fine and some will be a challenge to get through – and you can’t count on how you felt yesterday or how you’ll feel tomorrow. Give yourself space to heal and permission to shut the noise off when you need.

A Night Out

The Landmark Inn presents “A Night Out,” a benefit for the Women’s Center. Tickets are $50 per person, and includes food and music. A cash bar.

Tickets available by calling 906-225-1346, or stop in at The Women’s Center at 1310 S. Front Street.

Sponsors: Landmark Inn, UPHP, Downtown Eyecare, Elegant Seagulls, VAST, VANGOS, Huron Mountain Bakery, Andrew & Erica Griffin, Gary & Colleen Walker

We hope to see you there!