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Photos From Business After Hours – October 17, 2013

Photos From Business After Hours – October 17, 2013

On October 17, PTA Thrift Shop celebrated the ribbon cutting of their newest location and hosted one of Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours. Compass Center for Women and Families, along with Extraordinary ventures were featured as nonprofit spotlights. Chapelboro.com attended and took these wonderful photos!

For more information on Compass Center’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month events, click here.

Six Tips for Helping a Loved One You Believe Is Being Abused

Six Tips for Helping a Loved One You Believe Is Being Abused
  1. Tell your loved one that she/ he don’t deserve to be treated badly and that no one deserves to be abused. This abuse is not their fault.
  1. Let your loved one know that there are ways to increase his/her safety, that she/he has options, and that, together, you can get the help that is needed. Compass Center for Women and Families can assist with the safety planning and with understanding options for dealing with the abusive situation.
  1. Tell this person what you have noticed that concerns you. Tell them that you believe (or know)  she/he is being hurt or controlled. Tell him/her that you are concerned for his/her safety.
  1. Avoid focusing on the abuser. Keep this person out of the conversation as much as possible. Remember -your loved one has strong feelings for this person. Focus on your loved one, his/her safety, and your love and concern for him/her.
  1. Encourage him/her to call the Compass Center for Women and Families 24-hour hotline to speak with an advocate or to come in for an appointment.
  1. As the loved one of someone who is being abused you can call Compass Center for Women and Families hotline and receive support, information and abuse education.

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

Abuse Can Escalate – Get Help Today

Abuse Can Escalate – Get Help Today

Every year in October, thousands rally together and promote “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” It is critical that we discuss and understand the consequences of domestic violence.

According to the North Carolina Council for Women, for the past five years, more than 1000 calls have been placed to police dispatchers in Orange County related to domestic violence incidents, while less than 500 individuals sought out services.

In July 2012, Michelle McClinton of Chapel Hill filed a domestic violence protective order against her boyfriend. In October, she filed a motion to set aside the court order, despite her boyfriend’s violent criminal history. Friends and family of McClinton were aware of the couple’s abusive relationship. Last week, McClinton stabbed her boyfriend to death and is being charged with first-degree murder.

McClinton’s story is just one of many in our county that proves abuse can escalate to the point where retaliation, or sometimes defense, occurs and the victim is then engaged in a crime. In 2012, there were 122 total domestic violence related homicides, seven of which involved a party that had received protective orders from a court.

It is important to discuss domestic violence in the public sphere and seek out resources to help others. Compass Center for Women and Families offers domestic violence crisis services, including support groups and a 24-hour crisis hotline: 919-929-7122. If you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse, we are here to listen and lend support.

Open Dialogue with Teens

Open Dialogue with Teens

The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina reports 87% of teens say it would be easier to avoid sex if they could have open, honest conversations with their parents about it. With pop culture putting out hundreds of sex-driven messages a day, it is necessary for parents to push the boundaries on conversations with their children.

Don’t know what to say or how to say it?! That’s ok, there is help! Advocates for Youth can help you get the conversation started. Take a look!

October is Let’s Talk Month. Don’t forget to keep talking, your teen wants you to!

Upcoming Compass Center Support Groups

Upcoming Compass Center Support Groups

Compass Center offers support group services for adults and children. These are an opportunity for individuals with shared experiences to come together, offer support to one another and work on their own healing process. Below are upcoming groups that we will be offering.

Self-Esteem Group: This 8-week group is open to women who want to work on building their self-esteem and encourage others in their own journey of personal growth. The focus of the group will be to provide support, encouragement, and information in a safe, nurturing, and confidential environment. Topics discussed in the group include self-compassion, self-care, and building connections with others. A screening interview is required to determine if the group is a good fit at the present time. Screenings for this group are ongoing. Contact Connie at 919-929-3872 or groups@compassctr.org for more information.

Domestic Violence Support Group: This 8 week group is open to women who have experienced or are currently experiencing abuse in an intimate partner relationship including emotional, verbal, economic, sexual, or physical abuse. Topics discussed include dynamics of domestic violence, the relationship between thoughts and feelings, boundaries, managing emotions, self-esteem, and self-care. The group is free. A screening interview is required to determine if the group is a good fit at the present time. Child care can be offered as needed. The next group will being the week of August 19th, weekday evening. Contact Connie at 919-929-3872 or groups@compassctr.org for more information.

Divorce and Separation Support Group: This 8 week group is open to women who have experienced or are contemplating separation and/or divorce. The group will address common issues that women face during this process such as grief, loss, anger, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, legal and financial concerns, parenting/co-parenting issues, and managing change. The focus of the group will be to provide support, encouragement, and information in a safe, nurturing, and confidential environment. A screening interview is required to determine if the group is a good fit at the present time. There is a $40 fee associated with this group, but can be waived as needed. Child care is offered upon request. Screenings for this group are ongoing. Contact Connie at 919-929-3872 or groups@compassctr.org for more information.

Art of Healing Workshop for Survivors of Domestic Violence:  This Group is offered on the first Saturday of every month. Survivors of intimate partner abuse are invited to participate in these afternoons of art-making, processing, and community. Participants will be gently led through easy art and writing activities with a focus on expression, hope, healing, and strengths. No previous art-making or writing experience is required.  Childcare can be offered upon request. Registration is required for each session. Contact Connie at 919-929-3872 or groups@compassctr.org to reserve your spot in the group.

There’s Value in Volunteering: 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Involved

There’s Value in Volunteering: 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Involved

Although job seekers often do not see the value in volunteering, volunteering is an opportunity for personal development. In “Don’t Overlook Volunteering as a Valuable Career Tool,” Laurie Morse-Dell explains that many individuals searching for a job believe they should spend their time building relationships and exploring career opportunities. However, volunteering is an opportunity to further market yourself, gain skills and grow your network. Below are 5 reasons why you should volunteer, as outlined by Laurie Morse-Dell.

  1. Volunteering helps fill in gaps on your resume: Are you between jobs? Did you just graduate from school? Employers will ask about what you have been doing since you left your last job. Volunteering is a great way to fill in these gaps and also bring up talking points on leadership and relationship building in an interview.
  2. Volunteering shows that you take initiative: Employers want to see someone who doesn’t sit around waiting for an opportunity to come to them. Volunteering while job searching shows the ability to solve problems and step up.
  3. Volunteering introduces you to a community network: While volunteering, you will come into contact with a lot of people. If volunteering in an area of interest, these contacts could be a direct link to your next employment opportunity. Further, you will get leads just by having conversations with fellow community members.
  4. Volunteering builds your references: Volunteer positions that build your skills or expertise are great for applying for jobs. The volunteer coordinator or director will be hands-on in managing your projects and when the times come will be thrilled to write a recommendation or be listed as a reference.
  5. Volunteering boosts your experience: Whether you are searching for a job or not, gaining experience is always valuable. If there is a skill you are looking to gain, you could search for volunteer opportunities that cater to those skills. Event planning, website design or marketing are examples of skills that are in high demand.

Compass Center offers dozens of ways to get involved. Volunteers have moved on to serve on our Board of Directors, and some have even joined our staff. Click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

What success stories do you have from your volunteer experiences? What worries do you have about volunteering instead of actively being a full-time job seeker? Share below!

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