Archive for September 2013

Thank You Molly Maid Chapel Hill!

Thank You Molly Maid Chapel Hill!

Since 1996, Ms. Molly Maid Foundation has empowered communities and supported the domestic violence awareness cause. More than a house cleaning service, Molly Maid builds relationships with the community to ensure women, men and families feel safe in their homes. Molly Maid began their relationship with Family Violence Prevention Center (FVPC) prior to their merger with The Women’s Center to become Compass Center. Annually, FVPC would host a silent auction fundraiser. With a small board, FVPC was often pressed for resources and time, and Dave and Mary Dickinson from Molly Maid Chapel Hill would step up to help.

“When helping was too time-consuming for others, Molly Maid was always there putting in their time and effort,” says Jane Leserman-Madison, former FVPC and Compass Center board member. “There is no other sponsor that I know of that puts that kind of energy, time and devotion into helping others.”

As time wore on, Dave and Mary became more than sponsors. They became friends and supporters committed to the creative and strategic processes necessary to raise awareness on domestic violence. Dave and Mary were hands-on and helped gather auction items, manage logistics and provide resources. Dave also served on the FVPC board of directors.

Around the time of the merger, Dave and Mary transitioned the business to their daughter Kathy and her husband Don, who are equally committed to the cause. Each year, Molly Maid holds a fundraiser to garner funds and support for domestic violence awareness. Employees work tirelessly sending out letters, solicitation requests to all customers and supporters. Further, throughout the month of October, a portion of all cleans go to support the domestic violence cause through Molly Maid’s Making a Difference drive. Money raised is then distributed to three locations in the area. In addition, our local Molly Maid cleans both our Henderson and Wilson St. offices for free once a month. As we reflect this October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Compass Center thanks Molly Maid for their support and commitment to the domestic violence awareness cause.

How Can I Help? A Guide for Families, Friends and Others

How Can I Help? A Guide for Families, Friends and Others

Abusive relationships have devastating effects on everyone. Anyone in an intimate relationship can be abused. It can be difficult to discuss the abuse and to seek help. You can help if you think someone you care about is being abused.

Remember two important things when helping someone who is being abused:

  1. Change takes time.
  2. There is no single “right way” to help. The important thing is that you be there to support them in their decisions.

For people who have not been in an abusive relationship, it may be difficult to understand why a victim remains in a relationship and even “ covers up” for his/her partner. Both of these behaviors can be a direct result of living with a controlling partner. That person’s apparent indecisiveness and loyalty are essential tactics that she/he uses to survive. This does not mean that your loved one does not need and value your help. In fact, just the opposite is most likely true.

The hardest part of talking to a person who you believe is being abused is getting started. Be sure you have enough time and privacy for the discussion. The first conversation may not be easy but, to be of help, you must begin. Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • You seem unhappy.  Do you want to talk about it?
  • What is it like at home for you?
  • What happens when you and your partner disagree or argue?
  • Are you scared of him/her? Does she/he threaten you?
  • How does your partner handle things when she/he doesn’t get her/his way? What does he/ she do?

Support her/him for talking to you; she/he has taken a risk. Let him/her know that you appreciate what they have done and consider their feelings reasonable and normal. Let the other person lead the conversation. She/he needs you to be a good listener. Many people who are abused feel as though they don’t have options and are not able to get out of the abusive relationship. Talking with a loved one or a domestic violence advocate will help them to believe that options may exist. You can learn about domestic violence so you understand as much as possible about what they are experiencing.

Post-Divorce Financial Tips for Women and Men

Post-Divorce Financial Tips for Women and Men

Going through a divorce is a major life change. Despite dealing with emotions, women and men both have to be prepared to make lifestyle changes. Income, expenses and debt may not have seemed like a daunting task during marriage, but as a single woman or man, paying bills, saving and investing for retirement, planning for your child’s college expenses, and other long-term goals will require savings, investments and financial planning. Below is a post-divorce financial checklist to help you become financially independent and stable following your divorce:

– Close any joint credit accounts.

– Remove your spouse’s name and/or change your name/address on all remaining accounts including:

  • Bank, brokerage and investment accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Driver’s license, automobile title, registration and insurance policies
  • Employer’s records
  • IRS records
  • Life, health, homeowner’s and disability insurance policies
  • Post office (Remember to have your mail forwarded, too.)
  • Professional licenses
  • Social security card
  • Title to real property
  • Utility bills

– Research your health insurance options.

– Open a new bank account. Consider establishing direct deposit or income witholding for child support, spousal support and/or alimony payments.

– Request a copy of your credit report.

– Disinherit your spouse. Write and execute a new will, trusts, medical directive and/or living wills and power of attorney.

– Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401k, pension and IRA accounts

Following your divorce, analyse your finances during marriage to understand your spending habits. Establishing and sticking to a financial plan will be critical in having financial stability. Compass Center for Women and Families’ financial education programs help individuals become self-sufficient and financially stable. Click here to learn more about our individual financial counseling and financial coaching/support program.

* Checklist from Jeff Landers on Forbes.com

Know the Law: How to Get a Restraining Order

Know the Law: How to Get a Restraining Order

A restraining order, or protective order, is a legal order issued by a state court, which requires a person to stop harming another. In the state of North Carolina, courts can issue domestic violence protective orders and civil no-contact orders. The legal system is divided by civil law and criminal law. Domestic violence cases may be both civil and criminal. Pursuing both civil and criminal actions may result in maximum protection.

For civil law cases, the person bringing the case against the abuser is the abused party and s/he has the right to drop the case at any time. Civil cases protect a person from abuse, but does not send the abuser to jail for a crime. If the abuser violates the civil court order, s/he may face jailtime. In criminal law, a criminal act, such as harrassment, assault, murder and/or theft has taken place. A prosecutor brings the case to court.

A Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) is a court order that provides protection from someone you have/had a personal relationship with. There are two types of DVPOs: Ex parte/temporary and Final. Ex parte/temporary protective orders provide immediate protection without the abuser present. A Final DVPO is issued after a full court hearing. In this hearing, the abuser has a chance to defend him/herself. Final DVPOs last for up to one year. You can file for a protective order in the county where you live or in the county your abuser lives.

Below you will find more information from womenslaw.org on how a DVPO can help you:

  • Order the abuser not to assault, threaten, abuse, follow, harass, or interfere with you and your children in person, at work, on the telephone, or by other means;
  • Allow you to live in the home where you and the abuser have lived together and order the abuser to move out and not return, no matter who owns the home or is on the lease;
  • Order the abuser to provide suitable alternative housing for you;
  • Tell the police to remove the abuser from the home and help you to return to the home;
  • Give you possession of personal property including a car and household goods, except for the abuser’s personal belongings;
  • Order the abuser to stay away from any place you request including your school, your children’s school, your work place, your friends’ homes, or any place where you are seeking shelter;
  • Order the abuser not to harm your pet;
  • Give you possession of your pet;
  • Give you temporary custody of a minor child, order the abuser to pay temporary child support, and establish temporary visitation (custody, child support, and visitation only apply if the abuser is the parent of the child);
  • Order your spouse to pay temporary spousal support;
  • Order the abuser to hand over any firearms and prohibit the abuser from purchasing a firearm;
  • Order the abuser to attend an abuser’s treatment program;
  • Order the abuser to pay attorney’s fees; and/or
  • Order the abuser to do anything else you ask for and the judge agrees to.*

*NCGS § 50B-3

Bernetta Thigpen to Speak on the Status of Women in NC

Bernetta Thigpen to Speak on the Status of Women in NC

Bernetta Thigpen, BS. MS. will speak on “The Status of Women in North Carolina” on Saturday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m. at the opening meeting for AAUW’s 2013-2014 programs. Join us at Carolina Woods Retirement Community, Carolina Room, 750 Weaver Dairy Rd., Chapel Hill. This is a very current and dynamic topic for all females in our state. The status of North Carolina women is already being impacted by the current Legislature and new Governor. Please plan to attend this timely and informative program.

About the Speaker
Bernetta Thigpen serves as Region Director for the Northern Piedmont Region Office of the NC Council for Women, located in Greensboro, NC. Bernetta has been responsible the oversight and monitoring of family stabilization/self-sufficiency programs , domestic violence and sexual assault programs, training non-profits boards and providing technical assistance and consultation to a host of victim service agencies. She is a qualified mental health professional with 25 years of experience working as an advocate and provider for individuals with mental illness. Previously, she was a part-time faculty member at Guilford Technical Community College and is currently volunteering as an adult literacy teacher at Reading Connections in Greensboro. She holds a BS and MS degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Ms. Thigpen has two college-aged children.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a non-profit group, whose mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Coffee and conversation from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

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