Bradenton Yacht Club Features Work for HOPE Family Services

The blog below is an excerpt from the Bradenton Yacht Club's Monthly member magazine, "Poop Deck". This article can be found on page 17. 

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It’s finally time for our first Great Mates dinner meeting of the year. It will be held on Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm. Check the Poop Deck for reservation information or call the Club at 941-722- 5936. All BYC members are invited. If you have never been to a Great Mates meeting, please come. If you haven’t attended a meeting in while, please give us another try. We have a professional comedian, Juanita Lolita, to entertain us at the September meeting. It should be a lot of fun.

Hope Family Services is the charity chosen to be the recipient of our March 7, 2020 Gala. Hope is a private not-for-profit corporation whose primary purpose is to provide services to victims of domestic violence. We will have some information to share with you about the organization at the September meeting.

On July 11th, Mayor Wayne Poston was kind enough to join us at the Hope Chest Thrift Store on 1215 8th Avenue in downtown Bradenton to draw the names of the two winners of our Sail through Summer Giveaway to benefit Hope Family Services. One winner won a donated 12 ft. Sailboat and the other won 2 weeks of sailing lessons for a child at Bishop Sailing Center. Whether you have items to donate or want to shop to find some treasures, Hope Family Services will benefit from your generosity to The Hope Chest Thrift Store.

At our October 17th dinner meeting, Palmetto Mayor Shirley Bryant, as well as Brian Carter, President of Bishop Museum will speak to us. Mary Ann Gamrot has a lot of ideas for our entertainment, some of them still tentative. For our January 16th meeting she is thinking of WORLD TRAVELER NIGHT. We know that so many of you have stories about unusual travel experiences. Hopefully, you’d like to share your stories with us, whether they be funny, scary or exhilarating Mary Ann would love to have you get in touch with her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

She would welcome any entertainment ideas you may have as well. So, bring your $1 to the September meeting to renew your membership for the upcoming year or to join the Great Mates for the year. Visit our website at TheGreatMates.org for information. – Sharon Goslee 

 

 

Economic Empowerment Program

Economic Empowerment Program

Domestic Violence Isn't Always Physical...

When most people read or hear about domestic violence, their minds often think of physical abuse. However, domestic violence can include other forms of abuse such as emotional, sexual and financial abuse. As defined by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors, violence, or threats of violence that one person uses to establish power and control over an intimate partner.

According to the annual report to the legislature by FCADV, financial abuse occurs in 98% of all domestic violence cases. In the annual report, survivors stated that abusers utilized a multitude of economically-related tactics to gain and maintain power and control over them. Some tactics that an abuser can utilize to maintain power and control include:

  • Ruining their partner’s credit
  • Giving an allowance to their partner
  • Denying access to income or financial accounts
  • Making financial decisions without consulting their partner
  • Not paying child support so they can’t afford rent, food, and other needed items
  • Preventing their partner from working or demanding they quit their job
  • Stalking or harassing their partner at work

Experiencing financial abuse can prohibit a survivor from leaving an abusive relationship since they don’t have the financial security to move into a safe place. At HOPE Family Services, we have established the Economic Empowerment program where the participant can meet with an advocate to create a financial safety plan and work on achieving financial independence.

Our Economic Empowerment program can assist participants with developing a spending plan or budget, securing affordable housing, and achieve higher education such as a GED, certifications, or degrees. The program also helps with assistance in job search strategies, resume development, and job interview skills to help obtain employment. We work with our participants based upon what their goals are so that they can achieve economic stability.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (941) 747-8499 

 

Handbags & Happy Hour 2019

Handbags & Happy Hour 2019

We’re counting down the days to Handbags & Happy Hour! Meet us at the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 4:30 pm. 

HOPE Family Services (HOPE) and Women’s Resource Center (WRC) are excited to be collaborating once again to bring awareness of the life-changing services offered to women in our region. We loved the first-ever Handbags & Happy Hour event last year and are thrilled to bring it back for 2019. 

Join us for an evening full of fun & fashion – it’s women supporting women! You can expect delicious appetizers, a premium open bar, a wide variety of gorgeous designer handbags, jewelry and other raffle prizes. This event will also feature pop-up shops, a photo booth, music, and much more!

Invite your friends to a fabulous girls’ night out! Guests are encouraged to bring purses to donate to women who are working to change their lives at HOPE Family Services and the Women’s Resource Center. 

Every ticket to Handbags & Happy Hour helps to ensure women in our community have support to empower themselves and transform their lives. Thank you for your belief in HOPE & WRC!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please email Lynn Lavigne-Quinn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (941) 747-8499.

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Masala Giving Circle Grant

On May 15th, the Masala Giving Circle, a philanthropic organization of African-American women, held its Annual Grant Award Ceremony at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Nearly $20,000 was provided to four organizations with missions to improve the quality of life for African-Americans in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Since its founding, the Masala Giving Circle has awarded nearly $60,000 into the community.

HOPE Family Services (HOPE) was honored to be one of the organizations recognized by this amazing giving circle and thanks to their generosity, $2,500 was awarded to provide multicultural hair care products, education, and empowerment to victims and survivors of domestic violence who reside in HOPE’s Emergency Safe Shelter. HOPE’s goal is to provide hair care products to all survivors of domestic violence, including African Americans/Blacks, who reside at HOPE’s Emergency Safe Shelter. HOPE staff want to make sure all residents are provided with basic needs. Ensuring they have what they need helps them move forward to a healthy and independent life. 

With the Masala Giving Circle grant, HOPE staff are also able to provide empowering educational classes for Women of Color. Through the classes, staff teach residents how to minimize bullying of their children, which often happens when incorrect products and techniques are used. We have seen an increase in children’s and adults’ self-confidence by using new products, styles, and techniques. Being sensitive to the needs of all clients is important and thanks to the Masala Giving Circle, their needs are met.

“Masala Giving Circle exists to promote economic and personal empowerment in our community,” says Marilyn Thompson, the group’s president. “Since our inception, our giving philosophy has been to carry on traditions of support passed down through African ancestry and do our part to make the African-American communities stronger and more self-sustainable.”

We are so grateful to the wonderful women of the Masala Giving Circle for supporting women of color in our community and supporting HOPE’s mission

 

Pictured below are photos from the Masala Giving Circle Annual Grant Awardee Ceremony & products purchased with the grant awarded to HOPE. 

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Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Donation

Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Donates $710 to HOPE Family Services Emergency Safe Shelter

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(Pictured from left to right are Barbara McCrea of MUUF, Elsa Hanna of HOPE, and Rev. Fred L Hammond of MUUF.)

Bradenton, FL, August 15, 2019. - The small congregation of Bradenton’s Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (MUUF) recently donated $710.00 for the Emergency Safe Shelter needs of HOPE Family Services in Bradenton.  The Special Collection was specifically designated to fund the needs of the Shelter which is one of the many services provided by HOPE to promote safety, strength, and well-being for those affected by domestic violence.

HOPE is Manatee County’s state-certified domestic violence service provider.  Elsa Hanna, a HOPE staff member, was present for the donation.  Bill Hayes, Special Collection Coordinator for MUUF, said: “Our Fellowship is committed to social justice and it is a pleasure to support you with this financial help.”

HOPE provides a safe place in a confidential location for victims of domestic violence.  The Shelter is designed to give victims time in a safe place, so they can evaluate their options and gain skills that empower them to live a life safe from an abusive partner.  Mothers and children arrive at the Shelter with few belongings – if any.  Mothers have urgent demands on what little money they may have and are unable to replace what they couldn’t bring with them.  There are always ongoing Shelter needs, that’s why the Special Collection was specifically designated to fund the needs of HOPE’s Emergency Safe Shelter.  To find out more about domestic violence and HOPE’s services visit their website at https://www.hopefamilyservice.org/ or contact HOPE’s Outreach Office at 941-747-8499.

MUUF is a friendly beacon for religious freedom, supporting lifelong spiritual growth and working for social justice with compassion and love.  For more information about MUUF call 941-746-0067 or visit the MUUF website at www.manateeuuf.org.

August HOPE Hero

August HOPE Hero

Carol - HOPE Volunteer

About our HOPE Hero: Carol 1

Carol was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She found herself in Bradenton after retiring from her job, of 24 years at Universal Orlando. Carol began helping at HOPE during the Children’s Group sessions. She listened to music with the kids, played games, and helped with homework. Her role at HOPE now is working in the Outreach office, where she helps staff with reports for local, state, and federal agencies.

 

What have you learned while volunteering?

HOPE does amazing things for survivors and their families. I’ve learned that domestic violence is widespread and while there are many resources available to participants, there is a need for even more. 

 

What motivates you to volunteer with this organization?

I worked with a sister domestic violence agency in the Orlando area before moving to Bradenton and wanted to continue to give back.

 

What advice would you give to a future volunteer?

The biggest advice I can give is to be committed to the organization. It isn’t always easy to find the time, but you must be willing to give some of your time to helping others.

 

Tell us about your most memorable accomplishment with this organization.

One evening while I was helping with the Children’s Group, I was asked to help with a homework assignment. The student needed to invent a product and describe its use, using some words provided by the teacher. Extra credit would be given if they used words from another list. We selected a product, completed the outline, and the child finished the rest of the essay at home. The next time I saw the child, I asked what grade they received and they told me it was the first "A" they had ever received!

 

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We truly appreciate all of your hard work & dedication to our mission! 

July HOPE Hero

July HOPE Hero

Cheryl - HOPE Board Member

About our HOPE Hero: 

Cheryl is a Florida native and grew up in Brandon before making her way to Bradenton in 1981. Cheryl loves her job, but when she isn’t working as a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company, she is volunteering as a Board Member for HOPE Family Services. She says hearing success stories from survivors always keeps her motivated to volunteer.                                                                                                                       

What have you learned while volunteering?

I've learned there is a tremendous need for HOPE to help victims of domestic violence. HOPE helps in so many ways such as: preparing safety plans, providing counseling, shelter, legal assistance and more.

 

Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.

I've been lucky enough to travel to some pretty exotic locations. I can't pick one, so here are my top 3: the most amazing shades of blue waters in Tahiti, waterfalls in Hawaii, Cadillac Mountain/Acadia National Park in Maine.

 

What advice would you give to a future volunteer?

Find what moves you and help in any way you can; share HOPE's message when you have the opportunity. I have a friend and board member, Mindy Hill, to thank for introducing me to HOPE.

Tell us about your most memorable accomplishment with this organization.

I am very proud to represent HOPE within our Michael Saunders MSC Foundation and pleased to contribute through the foundation to help support the vital work HOPE does to save lives. It makes me so happy to help contribute to HOPE!

Describe yourself using only film titles.

Working Girl (I'm always working!)

Psycho (Some days...) 

As Good As It Gets (most days)



We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission! 

Sail Through Summer 2019

Bradenton Yacht Club’s Great Mates Host Giveaway Benefiting HOPE Family Services

The Great Mates, a 501(c)3 of the Bradenton Yacht Club (BYC) partnered with HOPE Family Services for their Sail Through Summer giveaway. The prizes for this giveaway were a 12-ft. Zuma sailboat and a two-week sailing camp session for a child, aged 8-13 at The Bishop Sailing Center at BYC (either July 15-26th or July 29-August 9th). 

Manatee County residents were able to enter for both giveaway prizes at HOPE Chest Thrift Store from June 10 - July 10, 2019. The HOPE Chest Thrift Store, located in downtown Bradenton, is open to the community and operated by HOPE Family Services to benefit survivors of domestic violence. One drawing entry was provided free per family visiting the store, but in exchange for a donated item from  HOPE’s “Wish List,” (such as non-perishable foods, diapers, toilet paper, formula, etc.) for HOPE’s safe shelter residents, the donor received five drawing entries. 

During the month of the “Sail Through Summer” giveaway, HOPE Chest saw an increase in donations as well as traffic to the store. There were over 100 entries to the “Sail Through Summer” giveaway, which directly will benefit the resources HOPE Family Services provides to survivors of domestic violence in Manatee County. 

On July 11, 2019, board members and staff from HOPE Family Services, members from The Great Mates, and the public joined together at HOPE Chest for the announcement of the 2019 Sail Through Summer winners. The giveaway drawing at HOPE Chest also included light refreshments, bites, and, of course, shopping. City of Bradenton Mayor, Wayne Poston attended the event and drew the two winning tickets. 

Congratulations to both Olivia Zapata, winning the Zuma Sailboat & Landon Sinphay, winning a two-week Sailing Camp at BYC’s  Bishop Sailing Center!

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Pictured: Front, Left to Right: Detective Yolanda Cox, Gail Henderson, Mayor Wayne Poston, Mary Ann Gamrot, Beverly Beaucage, Mirinda Hill, HOPE Chest Manager Dawn Simpson. Rear, Left to Right: HOPE Family Services President & CEO Laurel Lynch, Sharon Goslee, Katie Williams.

Thank you to everyone that participated in the 2019 Sail Through Summer giveaway and a special thanks to The Great Mates for selecting HOPE Family Services as their annual charity. We are so excited for the year to come!

HOPE Hero - Dawn

 

June HOPE Hero: Dawn - HOPE Chest Manager  💜

 

About our HOPE Hero:                                     dawn2

Dawn is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has a long history working in the customer service industry; starting at the age of 10 pouring root beer at her family’s drive-in diner. She is the Manager at the HOPE Chest Thrift Store (HOPE Chest) which is open to the public and serves as a resource for survivors of domestic violence to receive items they need to be successful. Dawn describes HOPE Chest as, “A wonderful place to find awesome treasures, while supporting survivors of domestic violence.”

What motivates you to work with HOPE?

I’m one of the lucky ones and I truly can’t wait to get to work in the morning! Just knowing that what we do every day helps change lives for the better is the biggest motivating factor for me. Just think, together with donors and shoppers, we are making a difference in our community.

Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.

Seeing Lake Michigan from 3,500 feet up while skydiving. It was amazing how quiet it was up there and just so beautiful. 

What advice would you give to a future volunteer?

Our motto at the HOPE Chest is, “We get serious about having fun.” So, my advice would be, have fun and always remember by volunteering for HOPE you are saving lives. It doesn’t get better than that!

Describe yourself using only film titles.

Let's see... Beaches, Airplane, and some days it can feel like One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest. But those are some of my most favorite days!

What have you learned on the job? 

I've learned to never judge a book by its cover, and just how far a healthy dose of patience, kindness, and respect can go. Another big one for me is how much I still have to learn and grow.

 

We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission!

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Reasons You Should Be Thrifting

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Donating and shopping at HOPE Chest helps to support survivors of domestic violence.

However, there are many other reasons to thrift this summer!  

Here's our list of the top reasons why you should be thrifting: 

  1. Stretch your budget 

If you’re looking for a good reason to shop at thrift stores, look no further than your own wallet. It’s no secret that thrift stores, like HOPE Chest, sell items for a fraction of the full price for new items. The idea of frugal living isn’t just good for people with limited financial resources - everyone can benefit. Looking for bargains can help you save money to put toward a financial goal, splurge on that item you want, or pay your expenses. 

Many thrift stores go a step further and offer greater savings on certain days. At HOPE Chest, we offer specials on the first Thursday of every month, including everyone’s favorite, all items over $1 are 50% off. 

Caution: After shopping at a thrift store, you might not want to purchase anything at full retail price - again. Thrift store shopping will save you some serious cash!

  1. You can create your own style 

If you’re in the market for new summer looks and you head straight to a department store to pay full price, you’re bound to run into other people wearing the same outfits. Discovering a new look means finding your next staple piece. Thrift shops also have a diverse assortment of clothing, meaning you’re less likely to find yourself wearing the same top or as a friend or co-worker. Thrift shopping is a way to try a new look, trend, brand or style without sacrificing our savings account. 

After all, we’re all unique — shouldn’t our wardrobes reflect us? 

  1. It’s fun to treasure hunt

Just like auctions, yard sales, or flea markets, you never know what you’ll find at a thrift store. With donations coming in daily, there are always hidden treasures to find. Avid thrifters call it the thrill of the hunt and it can get competitive; searching through racks for your own personal treasure can be exciting, suspenseful, and addictive. 

Pro tip:  If you like it, hold onto it, because you may lose the opportunity to grab it later!

  1. Thrift stores help the community

Most thrift shops, like HOPE Chest, are run by charitable or non-profit organizations that use their retail platform to provide much-needed services to the community. At the time survivors need it most; participants of HOPE Family Services (HOPE) are able to shop free of charge at HOPE Chest, from socks to home furnishings. By shopping at HOPE Chest your proceeds help to pay for utilities and repairs at HOPE’s Emergency Safe Shelter. Whether you donate to HOPE Chest or shop at HOPE Chest you are saving lives and supporting survivors of domestic violence in Manatee County, FL. 

  1. There is SO much more than just clothes

Whether you’re looking for a handbag, kitchenware, clothing, or anything in between, thrift stores have it all. At most stores, you can find sections with kitchen appliances, artwork, toys, furniture, jewelry, shoes, books and much more. For many, thrift stores a go-to place for their sizeable furniture selections, including quality items and great discounts. HOPE Chest offers an array of items and even has rotating seasonal decorations in the Holiday Room! 

  1. It’s environmentally friendly 

Donating and buying from a thrift shop is an excellent way to reuse and recycle. The reuse of items such as clothes, electronics, furniture, etc. decreases the waste going to landfills and the number of new items that need to be created. Thrift shopping is also an eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion, which is the process of getting new and trendy items to consumers as quickly and cheaply as possible. Buying second-hand means you don’t have to sacrifice your style to be kind to Mother Earth. 

Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club Donates to HOPE’s Children’s Reading Library

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club (LWRWC) hosted its annual Speakers Series Fundraiser Luncheon that raised over $2,000 and 825 books to benefit HOPE Family Services Children’s Reading Library, “The Book Nook.” The luncheon featured internationally acclaimed author, Lucetta Zaytoun.

The event was held at the LWR Golf & Country Club with more than 80 women in attendance, opened with beautiful music by gifted violinist, Margot Zarzycka, who plays with the Sarasota Orchestra. After a warm welcome from LWRWC President, Kathleen Cleveland, and Event Chairs: Cheryl Breining and Eileen Buzzard, HOPE Family Services CEO, Laurel Lynch, expressed her gratitude to LWRWC for the donation and for bringing the joy of reading to children and their mothers at HOPE’s Domestic Violence Shelter. Laurel explained that inspiring children to read will positively impact their futures. The original idea of the LWRWC was for mothers in the shelter to read to their children, but it is just as valuable (if not more so) for children to read to their mothers.

Keynote speaker, Lucetta Zaytoun, was deeply moved by the mission of HOPE Family Services because she is a courageous survivor of domestic violence. Lucetta shared her own horrific story of her escape with two toddlers from a physically abusive husband, with only two trash bags filled with clothing and toys. After finding the strength to overcome her trauma, she married a man with four children and became a devoted mother to all six kids. When the children were grown, she discovered that her husband was in love with another woman. Finding herself with no career, Lucetta turned tragedy into triumph with a remarkable global journey, backpacking through third world countries, and learning to overcome her fears and find her true identity. When she returned to the US, she became a certified life coach, a bestselling author and an international speaker.  Lucetta wrote a best-selling memoir of her incredible solo journey around the world entitled “It’s Already Tomorrow Here: Never Underestimate the Power of Running Away.” By conquering fear, Lucetta gained remarkable success in her personal and professional life.

The giving women of Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club consistently raise awareness and drive community support for organizations like HOPE Family Services. We cannot thank them enough for their donation of 825 books and $2,000 for HOPE's children's library in our shelter. The donation could not have come at a better time because they will help enhance our summer reading program, which helps children in our shelter overcome the summer learning slide, who are at an even higher risk of the summer slide. Our new Children’s “Book Nook” will help decrease the summer slide by providing the tools needed to achieve their academic goals. We are so grateful for HOPE Heroes like the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club.

Below are some photos from the book drive fundraiser and the finished Book Nook in our safe shelter!

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Supporting a Friend with a Mental Health Issue

Are you worried someone close to you might be battling with their mental health? You’re not alone. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition, many undiagnosed.

Like any other health problem, someone with a mental health issue needs extra love and support.  You may not be able to physically see the issue, but it doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to help. If you are unsure of how best to approach someone who may be struggling, these tips may help.

How to know when to help

It’s important to understand the warning signs that come with different mental health issues. Some signs that a friend or family member may need your help include: 

  • Suddenly they lack interest in hobbies and other interests they used to love
  • They are talking about taking their life or feeling hopeless
  • They are avoiding their close friends and family members
  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
  • They seem emotionally numb like they don’t feel anything anymore
  • They used to be healthy, but now they’re always saying they feel a bit sick or “off”
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits.
  • They seem to be anxious or overwhelmed about situations or objects in life that seem normal to you and to others
  • Repeated use of drugs or drinking heavily to cope
  • They have mentioned or seem to be hearing strange voices or having unsettling thoughts

What you can do to help

Start the conversation

Just a simple conversation can go a long way in helping your friend. Share your observations with your friend. Focus on being nonjudgmental, compassionate and understanding. Make sure to actively listen and use “I” (instead of “you”) comments to get the conversation started.

Examples:

  • I've noticed that you haven't been acting like yourself lately. Do you want to talk about it?
  • I am someone who cares and wants to listen. What do you want me to know about how you are feeling?
  • I’ve noticed you’re [sleeping more, eating less, etc.]. Is everything okay?

Offer support

Keep in mind that your friend might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through or simply may not want your help right now. Be patient, understanding and provide them with hope. You can make sure they know they are not alone, it can be a comfort just to know that they have people that care.

 It’s also important to support their healthy behaviors. Strategies such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising can be helpful when managing one’s mental health. Supporting your friend by eliminating or reducing alcohol or drug use is another great way to help him or her build healthy habits.

Be a friend

Being a friend means being there in easy times and more difficult times. If your friend is experiencing a mental health condition, this is a time when he or she needs you the most. Sometimes just talking about it might help your friend feel less alone and more understood.

 Here are some ways you can show you care:

  • Be a resource for them by giving them ideas on where they can go to get help.
  • Check-in with them regularly.
  • Learn more about mental health conditions.
  • Treat them with a non-judgemental attitude, empathy, and honesty.

Get Advice

Helping a friend with mental illness can be hard to handle by yourself. Don't hesitate to reach out to someone and talk about how you’re feeling as a friend/caregiver, especially  for advice to most effectively help your friend. Consider talking to a trusted individual in your life like a family member, counselor, teacher, faith leader, or friend.

 You can be the difference in helping a friend who needs support but is too afraid to seek help.  It could save his or her life!

Self-care Practices For All Areas of Your Life

Self-care Practices For All Areas of Your Life

Some weeks, you may feel on top the world… but others may feel never-ending. Life is full of factors that are out of your control, and that stress can actually affect your health. Stress can drain your energy, increase anxiety, cause headaches, weight gain, and lack of concentration.

Practicing self-care on a regular basis will help you to handle all of the challenges and uncertainties life can bring. Self-care simply means taking care of yourself in all areas of life: emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. There is no prescribed formula that works perfectly for everyone. Craft your self-practice to suit what works best for you, so you will enjoy it.

Below are the areas of life everyone should incorporate in their self-care practice:

        1. Physical Self-Care

This aspect of self-care is the most straight forward and focuses on making sure that your body is well-nourished and happy. When you are consciously caring for your body, you will think and feel better. The three basic aspects of physical self-care are good nutrition, proper recovery time (sleep and rest), and exercise. Begin with practices that are fun and rewarding to you.

Small steps such as eating more of the greens you love, drinking more water, and being active will make an impact on your well-being. (Remember to find the balance and rest when your body needs it too.)

       2. Mental Self-Care

Constant thoughts running around in your head can drain you. Mental self-care includes activities that declutter your mind and reduce your stress levels. These activities look different for everyone. Fuel your mind by learning about a subject that fascinates you, and reading books or watching movies that inspire you.

Some easy ways to relax each day include yoga, doing a craft, unplugging from technology, decluttering your home, or going for a walk.

     3. Social Self-Care

Life gets busy and it can feel impossible to make time to nurture relationships with friends or family. Social self-care is identifying your social needs and maintaining close connections in your life. There isn't a certain number of hours you should devote to your friends or work on your relationships. Everyone has slightly different social needs. Build enough time in your schedule to create an optimal social life for your well-being.

     4. Spiritual Self-Care

In this case, spiritual self-care doesn’t refer to religion or believing in a sort of higher being (although if that is what helps you - great!). Instead, in this sense, spiritual self-care is the act of getting in touch with your values—what really matters to you. This practice will help you cope with stress and foster a calm mind.  

Spiritual self-care activities include cleaning your spaces, joining a community that shares your values, meditating, going for a walk, or volunteering for causes you care about. It’s up to you to engage in whatever form of makes you feel best!

     5. Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care doesn’t mean that you never have negative or uncomfortable emotions, like anger, anxiety, and sadness. It’s the practice of identifying and accepting all of your feelings in a healthy way. Allow yourself to process what you are going through.

Include activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis. For example, writing down how you are feeling can help you feel more fully present and not confined to those feelings from the past.

Identify the ways you can incorporate these practices to develop your personal self-care practice. If you take a few moments each day to care for your wellbeing, then you will be rewarded with a positive outlook and decreased stress.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month or SAAM for short. During this month, champions of domestic violence prevention across the United States raise awareness about sexual violence, how to prevent it, and how to support those who are affected by it.  Each year the National Sexual Violence Resource Center selects a campaign theme. This year’s campaign theme, I Ask, supports the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and a necessary part of everyday interactions.

 What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault includes any sexual behavior that is against the will of another person (often through manipulation, force or coercion). Types of sexual assault include rape, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, incest, and same-sex assault.

Did You Know?

  • Every 2 minutes someone in the USA is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.
  • Each year there are about 293,000 victims of sexual assault.
  • 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while at college.
  • 42% of college women who are raped tell no one about the assault.
  • 1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday.

 What can I do?

Educating yourself and others, helping a friend who is being abused, speaking up, and being an engaged bystander are all examples of things you can do to help.

  • If a survivor shares their story with you, help them feel comfortable by being an active and supportive listener. It is important that they feel heard and believed.
  • Spread awareness through social media and educate those around you.
  • Learn more about laws and policies impacting survivors and prevention programming.
  • Participate in Denim Day - April 24th. Denim Day began after a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Denim Day has grown into a national movement to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault.


Where can I go to get help?  

Always call the police in the event of an emergency. Domestic violence shelters, like HOPE’s Emergency Safe shelter,  accept rape and sexual assault victims who need a place to stay as space permits. HOPE Family Services also provides free group and individual counseling to those affected. Colleges and universities also offer resources and completely free counseling. Be sure to know where and how they work and what services they provide.

Another local agency, Centerstone, is a great resource and specifically works with sexual assault and trauma services. At the national level, RAINN and Take Back the Night are the two biggest organizations devoted to victim advocacy and sexual assault and rape prevention and care.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available by phone (800.656.HOPE) and online (online.rainn.org). Talk with someone who is trained to help anytime, 24/7.

Recap: 22nd Annual Black & White ... An Evening Over the Rainbow

On Saturday, March 16th, our 22nd annual fundraising gala event Black & White...An Evening Over the Rainbow was held at IMG Academy Golf Club.

The event’s theme spoke to its occurrence on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, and our fabulous planning committee created decorations that included a traditional St. Patrick’s theme with green shamrocks and pots of gold coins at the end of a rainbow. Every guest was greeted with a glass of champagne at the door and invited to mingle and meet the other guests while enjoying the h'orderves and cocktails. Throughout the night, guests participated in a fun photo booth, wine drawings, and raffles.

Once everyone was seated, HOPE Family Services’ CEO, Laurel Lynch, spoke and presented a video with an emotional, survivor’s story (see video here). After the video, the survivor, Amy, shared some thoughtful words about the help she received from HOPE Family Services. Stories like Amy’s helped to remind us about the impact of each donation and the importance of educating the community about domestic violence. During dinner, Laurel Lynch presented the featured raffle prize winners (Bucket of Booze winner - Terry Brennan and Lottery Pot O’ Gold winner - Shannon Schmidlin). The live auction was hosted by our wonderful grand auctioneer, Brad Laduciana. Items for auction included a week-long luxury getaway in Colorado, week-long sports camp at IMG, an ultimate local date-night including tickets to the Lion King at Van Wezel, and a limousine ride to dinner for 4 at Beach Bistro. The rest of the night included fantastic food and lots of dancing to DJ Keegs.

We were lucky enough to have 190 people attend our 22nd Annual Black & White. This event left us feeling incredibly thankful to have such a strong community supporting our mission.

Our Black & White Gala has been an important part of our annual fundraising efforts and this year was no different. Each contribution made, benefits those affected by domestic violence in Manatee County. We could not have asked for a better evening with better friends! Must be the luck of the Irish!

 

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bwblog2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Click here to see more pictures.

 

We would like to give heartfelt appreciation to:



Presenting Sponsor: It Works! Gives Back Foundation

Event Sponsors: Fidelity Bank, GTL, Oneblood, Beach Bistro, and the Bradenton Herald

VIP Sponsors: Patti & Bob Wrobel, MaryEllen Wilson-Smith, Lawman Benefits Consulting, Inc., Blake Medical Center, Tim & Ashley Gruters, and Cross Country Wealth Management

Committee Chairs: Twila Averill & MaryEllen Wilson-Smith

Auctioneer: The amazing Brad Laudicina

Music: DJ Keegs, Charles Clapsaddle & the magnificent METV Team

Dedicated Board Members: Rosemarie Fisher, President; Mindy Hill, VP; Katie Williams, Secretary; Michelle Cross, CPA, Treasurer; Dr. Judy Smith, Immediate Past President; Ken Alicea, Twila Averill, Detective Yolanda Cox, Daniel Friedrich, Stacey McKnee, Christi Milan, Cheryl Roberts, Neil Unruh, MaryEllen Wilson-Smith, and Patti Wrobel.

We would also like to thank our wonderful volunteers and staff members who work every day to make the world a better place.

Our 22nd Annual Black & White was a huge success, and we are so grateful to everyone that contributed. Until next year!

S.U.G.A.R Shines on HOPE

At HOPE we believe that education is a powerful step in prevention. Last year alone, HOPE's Prevention Team was able to educate, train, and reach over 1,500 youths in Manatee County. We visited local middle and high schools, youth faith-based programs, juvenile detention centers, and after-school programs. Raising awareness and educating adolescents can have an impact on the way they look at personal relationships for the rest of their lives.

We are so fortunate to have organizations in our community that share our belief in educating the youth about important issues, especially domestic violence. One great example is S.U.G.A.R. (Showing Unconditional Goodwill And Respect). This club’s objective is to create projects that encourage kids to become involved in their community while teaching them about the cause they are serving.

S.U.G.A.R. initially started off as a desire for three mothers to have their children learn the value of kindness. However, it has developed into something much bigger. Last year alone, SUGAR had over 450 volunteers participate in projects that supported over 50 local organizations. We are grateful that HOPE Family Services was selected by SUGAR as a local nonprofit to support.

Recently SUGAR volunteers helped create “fresh start baskets” for families transitioning from the safe shelter to get back on their feet. The event was held at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, with packages that included donations from a local school drive and other friends in the community. SUGAR made the activity hands-on and fun for the kid volunteers, by encouraging the children to walk around and collect each item for their care package.

The room was organized similarly to a grocery store, with tables divided into sections for the home: cleaning; dinner; breakfast; paper goods; and miscellaneous. Each volunteer was given an index card with a “shopping” list for a family and a laundry basket for their items. They all picked up paper towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, and other items specific to each family. By the end of the event, every package contained a complete dinner and breakfast and the essentials to support the first 24 hours in a new living situation. In total, 31 specialized baskets were made for families transitioning into independent living.

The educational portion of the event was led by HOPE’s Shelter Director, Dawn. She spoke with the volunteers about the purpose of HOPE Family Services and the services provided by staff on a daily basis. “A lot of the kids didn’t know that there were relationships that aren’t healthy,” said Stefanie Guido, Co-Founder of SUGAR. “I think they felt good knowing that there are places to go for people that feel unsafe and can get care provided to them.”

SUGAR’s children reacted by asking questions about what domestic violence looks like and why it occurs. Both the SUGAR adult team and Dawn broke it down into bite-sized pieces by explaining that it may look like someone hurting you physically, or hurting you in your head (emotionally). Stefanie Guido noted, “If kids know what boundaries are, and how to identify them at an early age, it will help increase awareness and protect them for their future.” Dawn also discussed the importance of community support for non-profits like HOPE. Because of community support, 463 residents stayed in HOPE’s emergency shelter last year.

We are so grateful to have a generous and supportive community and organizations like SUGAR to encourage the future generation to help out and give back.

To learn more about SUGAR Volunteers and how you can help, visit their website here.

View event photos here

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM)

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM)

When people think of domestic violence and unhealthy relationships, they most likely think of adults. Unfortunately, teen dating violence is much more common than people think. 

Statistics show 1 in 3 teens (ages 12-18) in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone with whom they are in a relationship. Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive behaviors from a dating partner.

In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February, HOPE Family Services joins with other local and national organizations to raise awareness about dating violence and to promote healthy relationships.

Adolescents are especially vulnerable to dating violence as many are entering relationships for the first time. The effects of those unhealthy relationships tend to last much longer than the relationship itself. Teens in abusive relationships will often bring the same unhealthy patterns of violence into future relationships. Many continue those patterns without an understanding that they are unhealthy and shouldn’t be accepted.

 

That’s why it’s important to understand and recognize the warning signs. Being able to tell the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships can be difficult because no two relationships are the same.  See a full list of warning signs here. Bringing awareness to this issue is the first step in preventing dating abuse.

 

So, how can you help a teenager in your life prevent dating violence?

  • Spread awareness to stop dating abuse before it starts!
  • Practice these three strategies with your teen regularly:
    • Ask a question
    • Listen up
    • Stay connected
  • Know how to recognize warning signs
  • Become informed about resources to help
  • Show your willingness to support them
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Encourage them to participate in activities outside of the relationship, with friends and family
  • Help them develop a safety plan

While you are trying to help someone that is experiencing dating violence, remember that you cannot “rescue” them. They are ultimately the one who has to make the decision on what they want to do.  Although it is difficult to witness someone you care about get hurt, it’s important to show support and help them find a way to safety and peace.

HOPE Holiday Recap

The holidays are the season of giving; it's the time of year when people come together to share with others. Throughout the 2018 holiday season, HOPE Family Services (HOPE) invited the community to participate in several festive projects that impacted the lives of survivors and their families, and helped survivors take important steps towards healing during what can often be a difficult time of year.

“The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than in things.” - Thomas Monson

The Embrace -A-Family project invited families, neighbors, and co-workers to come together to embrace our HOPE families by purchasing specific items from a survivor’s wish list. We were fortunate enough to have 15 sponsors who assisted 19 families and 52 children for a total of 71 individuals. Your contributions helped make these family's wishes come true.

Our Holiday Gift Shop gave participants a sense of excitement; each had the opportunity to shop, for their little ones, free of charge. These gifts ensured survivors experienced the joy of shopping so that the holidays felt safe and happy for their families. The children in the shelter had a special treat when their name was chosen from an angel tree in the community. This extra gift brightened the faces of children facing a bleak holiday morning. We are so proud to say that a total of 350 individuals (97 families and 253 children) were supported though this project.

We couldn’t share the news about our holiday projects without mentioning our wonderful Angels at Work volunteers, who donated their time to help set up the Holiday Gift Shop for our participants.

We would like to thank everyone who opened their hearts to support our annual holiday projects. On Christmas Day, there were lots of children with presents waiting for them, thanks to your donations and support.

Every gift given, regardless of size, helped the holidays become more joyful for everyone. Remember, together there is HOPE. Click the button below to check out a photo album of donations and thank you cards from families!

THANK YOU!  

Save a life today

We would like to start by saying thank you. Your support throughout the year means so much to us, and survivors are more than grateful for each and every one of you.

With that being said, the year is coming to an end. We would like to ask you to continue your efforts of supporting us with an end-of-year donation. To put into perspective the importance of our organization, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) there were 2,432 domestic violence offenses reported in Manatee County in 2017. Experts believe only about 10% of domestic violence cases are reported. An estimated 10 million people are affected by intimate partner violence each year in the United States. Annually, domestic violence is responsible for over 1,500 deaths in the United States and as many as 200 deaths in Florida alone.

Whichever form of abuse you or a loved one is dealing with, YOU and THEY deserve better.

Your donations fund our many survivor focused services which include:

  • 24-Hour Helpline and online Live Chat
  • Emergency Safe Shelter
  • Attorney Injunction for Protection Project (restraining order assistance)
  • Advocacy Programs
  • Counseling
  • Children’s Programs
  • Prevention Programs

Help us continue to create a brighter future for survivors at HOPE!

ENSURE WELL-BEING $1,000: Provides trauma-informed counseling sessions for children

CREATE SAFETY $500: Feed 35 shelter residents for a week

PROVIDE STRENGTH $100: Ensures safety planning and intake service

PROMOTE EMPOWERMENT $25: Buy a gas card so a survivor can get to work

Donate online at https://www.hopefamilyservice.org/about/donate

Mail your donation: HOPE Family Services, PO BOX 1624, Bradenton, FL 34206

 

Find our contact information and learn more about our foundation by clicking the link below:

https://www.hopefamilyservice.org

Saving lives with The HOPE Chest

What can you say about a place that reuses, recycles and resells, all to save lives? That’s my kind of place. Welcome to HOPE Family Services’ (HOPE) thrift store, the HOPE Chest. 
 
Survivors of domestic violence too often leave in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Children don’t have time to grab anything, they are simply whisked away to a safe place. Both parents and children are overwhelmed and afraid and when they come to us and they need everything. Thanks to you and your generous donations over the years, we’ve been able to meet the need for these survivors while selling, (recycling if you will), your unwanted or no longer needed items. 
 
When survivors are leaving HOPE’s Safe Shelter and starting over, they often need household items, like sheets and towels, pots and pans, silverware, etc. Again, through the kindness of donors and the hard work of staff and volunteers, clients can access those items at no charge from the HOPE Chest.
 
People often wonder, if, in addition to giving survivors what they need, we sell things. We do indeed! The HOPE Chest generates income that ensures all of HOPE’s life-saving services are offered at no charge to survivors of domestic violence who need them. You should see the first Thursday of the month sales events when just about everything in the store is 50% off – the sales are legendary. You also have more time to shop, donate and volunteer on Thursdays with our extended hours until 6:00 pm.

You can visit the HOPE Chest Monday through Saturday from 9:00am-4:00pm at 1215 8th Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205. 

HOPE can only be successful by meeting the needs of survivors because of you. Please donate, shop and volunteer at the HOPE Chest, you’ll be glad you did!
 
On behalf of those whose lives you’ve saved, thank you.

Give the priceless gift of time

Help HOPE this holiday season by donating the priceless gift of time at our HOPE Chest Thrift Store. As we swing into “season”, we’re welcoming back out northerner pals and saying hello to friendly new faces throughout the community. The roads and restaurants aren't the only things getting busier though – the HOPE Chest Thrift Store is too!

The HOPE Chest Thrift Store helps support our mission of promoting safety, strength and well being for those affected by domestic violence throughout Manatee County. The thrift store sells a wide variety of amazing items for resale, like clothing, household items, furniture, and electronics. All proceeds from the store directly benefit the clients of HOPE Family Services.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the HOPE Chest Thrift Store, we’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to Dawn by calling 941-745-2034.

The HOPE Chest Thrift Store is located in downtown Bradenton at 1215 8th Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205. Hours of operation are 9:00am-4:00pm from Monday-Saturday.

The Danger Report: How to spot deadly red flags in a relationship

If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ve probably been struck by the deeply saddening headlines of domestic violence fatalities in Manatee County and neighboring communities. Our hearts and condolences go out to those affected by these tragedies.

Knowledge is powerful – and in this case, it could be life-saving. It’s important to be informed and aware in high-risk situations.  Author and Speaker Lundy Bancroft provides a powerful list of factors that should be taken seriously in identifying dangerous men.  

Abuse can come in many different forms, from both men and women, but the following risk factors for fatality are focused on the most common form of death as a result of domestic violence, perpetrated by a man to his, intimate female partner.

Risk Factors for Domestic Lethality

  • She is taking steps to end the relationship or has already done so.
  • He is depressed, suicidal, or shows signs of not caring what happens to him. He has, for example, threatened to kill himself if she leaves him.
  • He has killed or in other ways been violent to pets, or has used other terror tactics.
  • There are stepchildren or non-biological children involved.
  • He has access to weapons and/or he is familiar with their use.
  • He has threatened to kill her or to hurt her severely, has strangled her, or has threatened her with a weapon (including making verbal reference to using a weapon, even if he did not actually brandish it)
  • He was violence during her pregnancy.
  • He is unemployed.
  • The woman has a strong “gut” sense that the man could kill her or her children, or could carry out a serious and dangerous assault against any of them or against himself.
  • He is extremely jealous and possessive. This characteristic becomes even more worrisome when he appears to be obsessive, constantly keeping her at the center of his thoughts and appearing to be unable to conceive of life without her. He has, for example, made statements such as, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
  • He has a history of severe or very frequent violence toward her, or toward other individuals such as past partners.
  • He follows her, monitors her whereabouts, uses high-tech means to keep tabs on her, or stalks her in other ways. He knows where she lives and works, knows the names and addresses of her friend or relatives, or is in very familiar with her daily routines.
  • He has threatened to kill the children or the whole family.
  • He isn’t close to anyone, and no current relationships with friends or relatives are important to him.
  • He has a significant criminal history and/or he has a history of using violence or threatening violence against other people.
  • He abuses alcohol or drugs heavily, especially if his habits involve daily or nearly daily intoxication.
  • He has been violent to children.
  • He uses pornography heavily and/or has a history or perpetrating sexual violence or degradation against his partner or others.
  • He has exhibited extreme behaviors when his current partner or past partners have made attempts to leave him.

While these predictive factors of dangerous abusers are important to understand, there are documented instances where men didn’t exhibit these risk factors prior to killing. It’s important to trust your intuition and consult with a trained professional if you’re experiencing any kind of coercive control. HOPE offers qualified advocates to assess and build strategic safety plans for you to take control of your life. We’ve created a safety plan and encourage you to check it out.

Finding HOPE

If you, or someone you know, has experienced ANY of these behaviors or ANY signs of abuse from an intimate partner, please reach out to us to keep you–and your children–safe. Our services are completely free and confidential–designed to bring you empowerment and HOPE.

Whether you need to talk, need counseling for you or your children, need to escape to our Emergency Safe Shelter; we’re only a phone call away and ready to serve you and anyone affected by domestic violence in Manatee County.

More than a shelter… A place for HOPE

More than a shelter… A place for HOPE

At HOPE Family Services, we’re dedicated to providing services and empowering survivors of domestic violence (DV) by helping them stay safe, gain strength, and evaluate their options throughout Manatee County.

While we provide an Emergency Safe Shelter in the Bradenton area for those looking for safety, we have plenty of resources available for those dealing with other types of difficult situations.

 

Advocacy

Our advocacy services are designed to assist clients in identifying and overcoming barriers in their life.

The advocacy department addresses emergency issues such as financial concerns and housing, food and clothing needs. There’s also viable information regarding information and referrals to other incredible organizations that can be of assistance.

Advocates also assist participants with job training opportunities and issues surrounding economic justice.

 

Preventative measures

HOPE Family Services also offers a Primary Prevention Program that is designed to teach young people the signs of an abusive partner early on, with the ultimate goal of preventing them from becoming victims or perpetrators of intimate partner violence.

If you’re planning an event, whether school or business related, we can provide you speakers and trainers to spark Social Change. Social Change allows youth, professionals, and paraprofessionals to learn how to prevent conditions that allow batterer’s controlling behavior as we work to hold community members accountable and bring peace & an abuse-free society.

 

Counseling and more

Each week, we host individual counseling sessions and support groups for survivors of DV in English and Spanish. Domestic violence has a substantial impact on the family and we’re here to help address those issues.

We also offer supportive individual and group counseling to children affected by domestic violence. The goal is to teach children who are dealing with trauma, non-violent coping mechanisms in an effort to break the intergenerational nature of domestic violence.

 

Full-time access

If you are in need of a friendly voice to talk to, we are here for you. We offer a free and confidential Help Line that is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Start the conversation by calling 941-755-6805 (V/TTY). A friendly, non-judgemental and informed person will be waiting on the other line, right here in Manatee County.

We also provide a safe place in a confidential location for victims of domestic violence to evaluate their options. The shelter is designed to allow those who need it time in a safe place to make choices that empower them to live a life safe from the controlling tactics of an abusive partner and to organize opportunities in the best interest of themselves and their children.

5 Warning Signs of Violence

5 Warning Signs of Violence

Domestic abuse is defined as a “pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship”. Learning the warning signs can be life-saving. Keep reading to learn abusive actions to look out for in your relationships, and those of your loved ones.

 

Red flags to look for:

1. Physical abuse

Physical abuse can range from hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, strangling, hair-pulling, biting, etc. It also includes driving recklessly while you’re in the car; preventing you from eating/sleeping; denying medical care or forcing alcohol/drug use; abandoning you in unfamiliar places, and putting you in danger.

 

2. Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.

 

3. Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

 

4. Financial abuse

Economic abuse is making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.

 

5. Digital abuse

Digital abuse is when a partner utilizes technologies to bully, harass, and intimidate. It can include controlling your online activity, like who you can and can’t be friends with on Facebook, to insisting on having all of your online passwords to keep tabs on your online accounts. It can also include using technology to monitor where you are, like spyware on your GPS or phone.

 

Recognizing violence in our community

Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone, despite age, race, sexual orientation and more. While it’s hard to know exactly what someone is going through, there are key signs to keep a lookout for. According to the National Hotline of Domestic Violence, warning signs can include:

  • Their partner puts them down in front of other people
  • They are constantly worried about making their partner angry
  • They make excuses for their partner’s behavior
  • Their partner is extremely jealous or possessive
  • They have unexplained marks or injuries
  • They’ve stopped spending time with friends and family
  • They are depressed or anxious, or you notice changes in their personality



No matter what form of abuse you are dealing with, whether it is physical or digital, you deserve better. You are not alone. Last year HOPE helped over 2,000 people find safety, strength, and well-being. We offer a variety of free and confidential services to empower women in Manatee County, FL. We are only a phone call away to bring HOPE to you or someone you know. Reach our 24-hour Help Line at  (941) 755-6805 (V/TTY).

Sip, Shop, and Save Lives!

Sip, Shop, and Save Lives!

We’re counting down the days to Handbags & Happy Hour, on Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 5-7pm at Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club. Handbags & Happy Hour is a fabulous & collaborative event created with our friendly partner agencies, Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Inc. (SPARCC).

Previously known as “Empower Your Purse,” this event is the same sell-out fundraiser, with even more to love! Join us for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and the opportunity to purchase new and gently used handbags at our Pop-up Store. Participate in our raffle to win up to 12 fabulous designer handbags, jewelry and accessories!

Please consider bringing a new or gently used purse to donate to women who are working to change their lives at HOPE Family Services, WRC, SPARCC. All proceeds from this event go to programs and services directly benefiting clients from all three partner agencies.

This event helps bring empowerment to thousands of women in our community. Last year alone, WRC had 147 referrals to domestic violence agency community partners and SPARCC had 113 referrals to WRC. Also, more than 10% of HOPE clients were also receiving services from the WRC.

Call up your friends and join us for a fantastic evening of sipping, shopping and saving lives! Get your tickets before they’re gone, they’re only $40! 

Purchase tickets now!

 

Many thanks to all for supporting our Back to School Drive!

Many thanks to all for supporting our Back to School Drive!

We are incredibly thankful for everyone who showed their support by donating to our Back to School Supply Drive this month.

Thanks to the giving hearts in our community, we were able to provide nearly 240 children with the needed school supplies to start the school year off right. These donations provided invaluable help to set these young students on the right track to excel in school this year.

With a variety of items donated, from paper & notebooks, to pens & pencils – it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Angels at Work, Girls Night Out Lakewood Ranch, Gator Lounge, Keller Williams on the Water, East Manatee Bulldogs Football/Cheer and Victory Over Violence of FL, Inc. We can’t thank you enough for your support during this supply drive!

Our doors are always open for donations, of all kinds, to help women & families in our community. For a list, please visit the Donations section of our website.

 

All calls to HOPE and services provided by HOPE are confidential. HOPE Family Services is committed to serving people living with disabilities. HOPE is pleased to provide accommodations, including sign interpreters, translation services and alternative formats of printed materials upon request from persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or are living with disabilities.

Outreach Office:

Phone: (941) 747-8499 (V/TTY)
Fax: (941) 749-1796
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mailing Address:

Post Office Box 1624,
Bradenton, FL 34206-1624

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