Archive for the Get Help Category

Urgent Needs for our Domestic Violence Clients

Urgent Needs for our Domestic Violence Clients

Domestic violence affects women, men and children in our country, state and local communities. While the most important way to support domestic violence is to educate yourself and others on the realities of this issue, there are tangible items needed to help victims of domestic violence in crisis. Below are some of Compass Center’s supply needs. Please donate to our cause today.

One $20 gas card donation:
– helps a client get to court in Hillsborough to file their domestic violence protective order.
– enables a client to attend their court hearings related to their domestic violence protective order.
– enables a client to travel to Hillsborough to attend court to follow through on criminal charges against their abuser.
– provides transportation for a victim to get to and from a medical provider or the emergency room following an incident of abuse in which there was physical trauma.

One $20 grocery card donation:
– pays for dinner and breakfast for a victim and child who have just entered emergency shelter placement.
– allows a victim to buy diapers and formula for her infant when she is going into shelter and does not have access to money due to financial abuse.
– pays for children’s snacks as they wait on their parent who is receiving domestic violence services.
– enables a victim to have food to eat the day they are fleeing their abusive partner, seeking shelter and working with the court system.

One used cell phone donation:
– can be traded in for career, legal and financial program funding for victims in transition

Start Transforming Your Resume Right Now

Start Transforming Your Resume Right Now
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Photo Credit: Flazingo LLC

Stand out among other applicants by adding the following 3 items to your resume. Your resume should be tailored to each employer, as what you have to offer may differ for each job — sometimes slightly, sometimes greatly.

Executive SummaryWho are you? How much experience do you have? What are the top skills you can bring to an employer? Your executive summary (also known as “Summary of Qualifications”) speaks directly to the employer. If an employer were only to look at the top one-third of your resume, does s/he know everything you want him/her to?
SkillsWhat do you know how to do that is relevant to the job you’re applying for? Look at the job description for each job as a starting point. List your skills as it applies individually to each position. Whether it be hard/soft skills, the employer wants to know that you can do what they’re asking for. Don’t be subtle — tell them why you’re perfect!
Significant Work ExperiencesWhat did you achieve at each of your former jobs? What will you be required to do in this position you’re applying for? If the job you held 10-15 years ago holds significant value, feel free to include it on your resume if you haven’t had a similar experience more recently.

Want to go a step further in your career exploration process? Call Compass Center to set up a one-on-one career advising appointment at 919-968-4610. Also, be on the lookout for upcoming career workshops.

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness participates in a statewide count of homeless individuals every January during the annual A Point in Time event.  During this count, agencies that work with the homeless population go out into the community and look within their own agencies to assess the number of people without a place to stay for the night.  This year Compass Center for Women and Families will be participating in the count.

As an agency offering domestic violence crisis services, Compass Center sees a variety of issues that come as a result of abuse including emotional distress, financial difficulty, and physical injury. During this time of year when the A Point in Time count occurs, we are reminded of one of the most pressing issues for some of our clients — homelessness.

When a victim of domestic violence manages to escape an abusive situation, it is often without the financial or social means to thrive on their own.  As part of the cycle of abuse, abusers often isolate their victim from friends and family, decide whether or not they can work, and control the finances.  Under these circumstances, a victim of abuse has few choices of where to go when leaving an abuser and is often forced into a state of homelessness to avoid returning to the abuser.

Women who leave an abuser without a stable place to go are also more likely to end up back with the abuser to avoid homelessness or end up in another abusive relationship because of their vulnerable state.  The National Coalition for the Homeless reports that 63% of homeless women have been victims of domestic abuse.  This number reflects how much domestic violence influences the lives of the homeless female population.

We must recognize the huge impact homelessness has on our community.  To do this we must look at the causes of homelessness and try and work towards change at the root of the problem. Whether that means preventing domestic violence, helping to treat those with persistent mental illness, or connecting clients to financial resources, Compass Center is a part of that effort in Orange County to help end the cycle of homelessness.

Gender-based Violence: A Global “Silent” Epidemic

Gender-based Violence: A Global “Silent” Epidemic

1 in 3 women globally in 2010 experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner. In 20 of 24 countries, most women tell no one they experienced violence. On average, only seven percent of women who experienced violence ever reported it to a formal source.

Early last month, The Daily Beast covered an alarming study on global gender-based violence. In this study assisted by Amber Peterman, of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Jennifer Bleck, lead researcher Tia Palermo reveals the silence and obscurity of gender-based violence. Around the world, gender-based violence is being overlooked, as victims fear coming forward, along with numerous systems that fail to protect women. Gender-based violence is any act of physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering, whether occurring in public or in private, based on one’s gender.

“Women don’t trust the formal sector,” said Ravi Verma, director of the Asia Regional Office in New Delhi of the D.C.-based International Center for Research on Women. “The police system is deeply entrenched into the same notions of patriarchy and gender inequitable perspectives and women don’t feel comfortable that they will be heard or their report will be taken in the right spirit.”

Instead, women are more likely to turn to friends and family. Women have found that formal institutions don’t work in low-income or underdeveloped areas; therefore, they seek help from those they can trust.

Among the top reasons for women not reporting abuse were embarrassment, fear, a belief that disclosure was pointless, and the notion that women must endure violence because it is a normal part of life.

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.

For more information on this report, click here for The Daily Beast’s article.

Use Twitter to Find Your Next Job

Use Twitter to Find Your Next Job

Social media is increasingly becoming more important to employers. Twitter is a great resource to use in your job search. Mashable shared websites and Twitter handles for you to follow. These resources can assist you in finding your next career.

TwitJobSearch: This site allows you to search for jobs posted on Twitter using keywords (for example, “Marketing in New York”).

TweetMyJobs: TweetMyJobs will send you personalized job listings via email, Twitter or your mobile device.

Twellow: Twellow organizes Twitter users by category, making it easier to find the right recruiters and influencers to follow in your job search.

@JobHuntOrg: Susan P. Joyce tweets on behalf of Job-Hunt.org, posting U.S. job listings, career advice and helpful articles for job seekers.

@LinkedIn_Jobs: As the premier social media resource for professionals, connecting to LinkedIn is a must for modern job seekers.

@CraigslistJobs: Incorporate Craigslist into your Twitter feed to receive job postings from across the United States.

@UndercoverRec: This Twitter feed from the social media marketing firm LinkHumans shares articles about cover letters, resume building and interviewing tips from the Undercover Recruiter blog.

@HeatherHuhman: Heather R. Huhman, founder of the content and digital marketing PR firm Come Recommended, doles out job advice tailored to Gen Y job seekers.

@BrazenCareerist: Tweets from the Brazen Careerist website include links to webinars, virtual career fairs and recruitment events.

@Careerealism: From the website of the same name, Careerealism shares no-nonsense blog posts about recruitment and networking.

In addition to these resources, it is important to maintain a professional image on your social networks. While these can be used to share updates on your personal life, “think before you tweet.” Write a Twitter bio that will give potential employers a snapshot of your qualities. Also, be sure your profile image is professional.

LGBT Teens at Higher Risk of Being Victims of Domestic Violence

LGBT Teens at Higher Risk of Being Victims of Domestic Violence

According to the 2013 study, “Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying” by Urban Institute, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers are at a greater risk of dating abuse than heterosexuals.

Of the 3, 745 youth in 7th to 12th grades, in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey surveyed in the study, 6 percent of the respondents identified as LGBT.

Of the respondents:

  • 43 percent reported being victims of physical dating violence, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual youth.
  • 59 percent reported emotional abuse, compared to 46 percent of heterosexual youth.
  • 37 percent reported digital abuse and harassment, compared to 26 percent of heterosexual youth.
  • 23 percent reported sexual coercion, compared to 12 percent of heterosexual youth.

Compass Center for Women and Families offers domestic violence crisis services to women, men and families. We work with women and men, regardless of sexual orientation, who are experiencing or have experienced emotional, verbal, physical, sexual or other forms of abuse. We provide information and options and allow those we assist to make their own choices about the best options for them. We can also help people who are unsure if their relationship is abusive and would like to talk to someone about this.

If you  or someone you know is in need of our services, call our 24-hour hotline: 919-929-7122 , or email Susan Friedman, Director of Domestic Violence Crisis Services.

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

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