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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