Archive for the Get Help Category

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!

Who Are You Accepting on LinkedIn?

Who Are You Accepting on LinkedIn?

6431448699_e660c09aca_bClients often come to Compass Center seeking career advice on job search techniques and/or how to prepare for a job search. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn remains a leading resource for job seekers. LinkedIn elevates social networking by providing an online platform for professional contacts. But to what extent should limits on professional contacts be pushed? Inspired by a Harvard Business Review blog post, we will explore the three categories of a suitable LinkedIn connection.

The Sharers
Sharers help you stay in the know. LinkedIn places relevant content in your personal feed, so having multiple sharers helps ensure you’re receiving the best news – whether it be local news, industry trends or job opportunities.

The Connectors
The Connector is someone that is extremely plugged in. By adding someone that you already know in a professional capacity, you are able to benefit greatly. Connectors are great for offering introductions to their connections, making suggestions on how to better your profile and inform you of groups or meetups.

The Leaders
Leaders are viewed as experts. They understand social media, especially LinkedIn. They are a combination of Sharers and Connectors. The best leaders are willing to answer questions you may have about bettering your profile, as well as connecting you to groups and other professionals.

LinkedIn isn’t designed to be another Facebook or Twitter. The more strategic, exclusive and intimate connections that can be made, the better.

Question: What do you take into consideration before accepting a LinkedIn invitation?

UPDATE: Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

UPDATE: Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

UPDATE (As of 7/24/2013) The 2013-14 budget eliminates the Displaced Homemaker Program by next year. These 35 programs are a self-sufficiency and workforce development programs and one such program is housed at Compass Center. The General Fund appropriation to the program will be eliminated this year. Funds collected by the Divorce Filing Fee that support the program are reduced from $55 per divorce to $35 in FY 2013-14 and are transferred entirely to support the Domestic Violence Center Fund in FY 2014-15. The Domestic Violence Center Fund provides funding related to domestic violence across the State. In FY 2011-12, the Displaced Homemaker Program Fund received $1.8 million from the fee and supported the 35 programs across the state.

Over the past few weeks we’ve asked you to reach out to your legislators to preserve funding for the Compass Center’s self-sufficiency programming.  We’re happy to report that your actions are making a difference!  An amendment to return a portion of the Displaced Homemaker funding to the House budget to preserve our programming and allow us crucial time to refocus and streamline our service delivery model passed unanimously in the House.

However, the fight is not over.  The next step is for the House and Senate to “conference” and work through differences in their respective budgets.  This is where we have to make one more push to see our funding saved!  Please contact the legislators below who serve on the House and Senate conference committees.  They hold the fate of our state funding in their hands.

Below are talking points you may use when you call or email.  Read more about Displaced Homemaker Programs here.

N.C. Displaced Homemaker Program/Talking Points SB 402

  1. Current budget proposal eliminates funding for workforce stabilization:  job preparation/career readiness/support services delivered by Displaced Homemaker program grants. 
  • Last year over 5,000 citizens benefitted from these services. Displaced Homemaker programs currently work directly with Community College systems to increase the job-readiness or to retrain motivated workers to traditional, non-traditional or STEM jobs, all of which can increase the wage earning capacity of citizens needing support
  • Although G.S restricts funding to 35 counties (G.S. 143B-394.5A), many programs serve multi-county regions. No one is turned away due to place of residence.
  • Currently, the NC Council for Women receives and directs divorce filing fees to Domestic Violence Centers.  DV programs only serve victims of sexual abuse/domestic abuse. We estimate that 85% of displaced homemaker clients are not domestic violence survivors.
  • No savings are obtained from moving funding to domestic violence programs in 2014. Cutting 36% of the fees severely hinders the effectiveness of the programs to deliver services. Maintain full $55 per program allocation from divorce filing fees to sustain services and move over 5,000 women/men from dependency to wage earners and taxpayers.
  1. Restore fees from divorce filing applications for Displaced Homemaker Programs in 2013 and 2014.
  1.  Do not phase out the program in 2014 by redirecting fees to domestic violence (DV) programs in 2014. Programs serve different needs and both are important to families in N.C.

“Shifting funding to domestic violence centers in 2014 means women who are not victims/ survivors/ or who are over 50 without small children and who do not qualify for services from county agencies will have nowhere to turn especially in rural areas.” – Dion Terry, Ed.D., M.P.A., Former Executive Director, Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County

There is still much more education work to be done. Please target your efforts to members appointed to the Appropriations Committee. Funding is currently approved until FY 2014 but the 36% reduction will require programs to cut workforce stabilization services. 

Senate Conferees: Sen. Peter S. BrunstetterChair; Sen. Harry BrownSen. Neal HuntSen. Tom ApodacaSen. Bill RabonSen. Ralph Hise

House Conferees: Rep. Nelson DollarChair; Rep. Justin P. BurrRep. Linda P. JohnsonRep. Bryan R. HollowayRep. John A. TorbettRep. Phil ShepardRep. William D. BrissonRep. Marilyn AvilaRep. Mark W. HolloRep. D. Craig HornRep. Chuck McGradyRep. Hugh BlackwellRep. N. Leo DaughtryRep. Pat B. HurleyRep. James L. Boles, Jr.Rep. John FairclothRep. Roger WestRep. Pat McElraftRep. George G. ClevelandRep. Rayne BrownRep. Jason SaineRep. Tim MooreRep. David R. Lewis

Thank you so much for your great support of women and families!  

Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

While “Displaced Homemaker” may have fallen out of regular use, the women and men whose lives are defined by that antiquated term are still with us. These people have not been fully employed for years, and many of them have been especially hard hit by the great recession. The NC Senate’s budget eliminates funding for displaced homemaker programs will have a devastating impact on the ability of Compass Center and programs like ours in 34 other counties across North Carolina to provide services that help them get reintegrated into our economy.

Who are displaced homemakers? Last year 5,790 individuals received training through North Carolina’s Displaced Homemaker Programs. That training helped them learn job skills, achieve financial literacy, and work toward community college certification, all skills necessary to move them from dependence to independence. They include the persistently underemployed, a category where NC has the sad distinction of ranking fourth in the nation.

Displaced homemakers include Irene, whose husband died suddenly in his mid-50s, forcing her to relocate her home and re-start her career in order to fund college for her teenage son. And Linda, who was downsized from her corporate job and needs new skills to succeed in the new economy. They also include John, whose several part-time jobs together don’t produce enough income for his family.

These and other individuals look to displaced homemaker programs, more commonly understood as workforce development programs, for case management, career services, and other resources and support to help them successfully re-enter the workforce. They learn the skills to land jobs, support their families, and contribute tax revenue to North Carolina’s economy.

The Senate’s budget redirects monies from Divorce Filing Fees, which has funded Displaced Homemaker Programs, to the Domestic Violence Fund. The new legislation does not require workforce development services be provided by domestic violence programs.

If the NC House does not move to reinstate the monies, the impact will be stark:

• 35 existing Displaced Homemaker programs will be eliminated.
• Unemployed and dislocated workers will have far fewer workforce development programs to help them access the skills needed to reenter the workforce
• Domestic violence services, while important, are targeted to victim assistance and awareness programs.
• By definition, not all displaced homemakers are domestic violence victims, thus many “displaced homemakers” will lose vital workforce development services with the elimination of DH programs.

Outsider Finds Community with Teens Climb High

Reem Lily toolsLily was recommended to Teens Climb High as a sixth grader. She was dealing with a history of abuse and neglect, and had witnessed domestic violence in her own home.  She had been recently adopted by her foster mother, and was struggling academically. Lily grew to love the weekly group sessions at Teens Climb High. She grew especially close with another TCH participant, someone who also seemed to not fit in with a lot of other sixth graders, and began to spend time together outside of TCH. Lily participated in TCH’s community service learning project at a senior center and loved it so much she did not want to leave when the work was complete. She asked if she could continue helping out there. On the last day of TCH for sixth grade, Lily talked about how much her self-esteem had improved because of this program and the support she gets from the leaders and the other students. Lily is planning to go on vacation this summer with her new friend’s family.

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