Please meet Honor.

I would like to introduce you to Honor. Honor is a two-year old Miniature Therapy Horse who spent time last month with children at our Safe House. Research has shown that equine therapy is an effective way to help heal from trauma.

Domestic abuse survivors and their families can learn from horses, including how to control fear, how to be more assertive and confident and how to connect with others. This was 180’s first experience with this form of therapy and we will be exploring ways to perhaps integrate programs such as this in the future.

At 180 Turning Lives Around, we are always exploring the best ways to meet the needs of our client-families and we welcome interest and support from our community in helping us bring innovative programs to the forefront. If you would like to support 180 and/or explore new initiatives with us, please contact, 180 Executive Director, Anna Diaz White Thank you!

Special thanks to Honor and “Mini Horse Heroes” for making this day possible for our families.

Mini Horse Heroes serve in memory of P.O. Ken Tietjen formerly of Middletown, NJ.  The organization was started in 2001 to honor Port Authority Police Officer, Ken Tietjen, who gave his life saving others on 9/11.

Domestic Violence a major factor in mass shootings

At 180 Turning Lives Around we share in the grief resulting from the recent atrocity in Texas.

Like the rest of the world, we try to understand why these events unfold and we are devastated to know that perpetrators of domestic violence account for 54% of all mass shootings.

In this recent case in Texas, the perpetrator was previously court-martialed on two charges of domestic assault after he beat and choked his wife, threatened her with a firearm and hit her infant son hard enough to fracture his skull. Common sense gun control laws which keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders should be the law of the land. To read more about this issue in particular, please read the link here from Everytown for Gun Safety which released a sobering report on this topic. Also, a recent article from Time, “Domestic Violence is the Canary in the Coal Mine for Mass Shootings” is equally informative.
For those of you who are angered and moved to do something in response to these devastating facts and in honor of the lives ruined by this massacre, please become even more involved with 180 and our mission. While events like this can leave us feeling helpless, let’s remember that 180 is on the forefront of combating domestic violence in Monmouth County and helping survivors turn their lives around.

180 Opens Family Justice Center

180 Opens Family Justice Center

Facility to provide services to domestic violence victims

FREEHOLD, NJ –  180 Turning Lives Around Family Justice Center marked its grand opening at the Monmouth County Courthouse with a ceremony attended by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, State and local officials and members of the community on Thursday, Oct. 26.

“The Board is proud to help facilitate the opening of this important resource in the heart of Monmouth County by making the space available in the Courthouse,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. “By placing the Family Justice Center in the Courthouse, domestic violence victims and their families will be in a safe and secure location that is monitored by law enforcement during all hours of operation.”

The Family Justice Center is a collaborative effort between 180 Turning Lives Around and numerous members of the Monmouth County community to provide victims of domestic violence and their families with crisis support, legal assistance and counseling services all in one safe place.

“Family Justice Centers are a proven model that save lives and improve outcomes for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Anna Diaz-White, 180’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to Impact 100 Jersey Coast and the Monmouth County Freeholders for providing the seed funding and space to coordinate and begin this wonderful, lifesaving collaboration for our county, and to our partner organizations for contributing their staff’s time and talents to this important endeavor.”

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously approved an agreement to provide the space for the Center at no cost.

“It is essential for elected officials to work with the community and organizations such as 180 Turning Lives Around to help our residents that need support,” said Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley, liaison to the Monmouth County Department of Human Services. “The Family Justice Center is a great example of what can come from these partnerships and we hope that those in need of the services offered here will take advantage of them.”

Seed funding was awarded to 180 Turning Lives Around by a generous grant from Impact 100 Jersey Coast.

“Impact 100 Jersey Coast is proud to support the Family Justice Center initiative.  As a women’s grant making collaborative, we are thrilled that our $145,000 inaugural grant could make this vision a reality.  We seek to fund projects that address unmet needs and reach underserved populations,” said Deirdre Spiropoulos, Co-founder and President of Impact 100, Jersey Coast. “The FJC exemplifies those goals and will be an invaluable support for victims of domestic violence. We are truly impressed by the leadership and collaborative efforts of 180 Turning Lives Around and the many other partnering agencies.”

Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking can go to a Family Justice Center and obtain most of the services they need, the same day.  Everyone collaborates in real time, all under one roof.

“These victims deserve efficient, effective and compassionate care, which is exactly what they will receive at the Family Justice Center,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, Esq. “I had the opportunity to tour other Family Justice Centers in the state and I knew that it would be a great resource for Monmouth County victims of domestic violence.”

A Family Justice Center is proven to reduce homicides, reduce recidivism, reduce the barriers and fragmentation of service and they reduce trauma and the re-victimization of victims and their children. Family Justice Centers increase victim safety and increase conviction rates.

“We can make a difference in people’s lives with the Family Justice Center, especially in the life of a crime victim. What we will accomplish here will broaden our scope to provide much-needed services to the community. These services will result in increased awareness, accessible and coordinated services and much-needed help for victims of crime who need help navigating the complicated maze of government, law enforcement, social services, health and legal services,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.

“I’m proud to have worked closely with 180 Turning Lives Around to help create Monmouth County’s first ever Family Justice Center –one of only four in New Jersey. As a former rape crisis advocate, I know the work that 180 does is critically important for our communities,” Senator Jennifer Beck said. “The new Monmouth’s Family Justice Center will coordinate resources like counseling, legal services and family support into one location so domestic violence and sexual assault survivors will have easier access to those services. Today would not have been possible without the hard work of our many dedicated 180 volunteers and staff; I am very proud to have played a role in supporting their efforts.”

This will be the fourth Family Justice Center in New Jersey. The others are located in Essex, Morris and Union counties.

#MeToo.

Social media is being flooded with messages from those who tagged their profiles to indicate that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

Dear Friends of 180,

Recently actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a note that read: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “MeToo” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The #MeToo movement started in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal. I encourage you to read more about this and my conversation with the Asbury Park Press in the attached article here:

Learn more: 180 Discusses the #Me too movement with the Asbury Park Press.

As always, if you or someone you know is in need of 180’s Sexual Violence Services, including supportive counseling for survivors – both adult and teen, and regardless of when the assault occurred, we are here for you. 180 can assist with advocacy and accompaniment through medical, police and legal proceedings and our caring and professional staff will guide survivors in trauma recovery in a safe, supportive and confidential environment.
Our 24-hour Sexual Violence Hotline is confidential and anonymous: 1.888.264.RAPE.

Sincerely,

Anna Diaz-White

Executive Director

180 Turning Lives Around

P.S. Please visit us at www.180nj.org and follow us on and FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates on 180’s various initiatives and work throughout the Monmouth County community.

What you need to know about Tech Safety

You can get a clear understanding of how an abuser may monitor your online activity. Connect to the Survivor Toolkit so that you can get further information related to safety planning and other tech related resources: https://www.techsafety.org/blog/2017/9/26/safety-check

Thank you to our colleagues at the National Network to End Domestic Violence for preparing this helpful information.

 

JBJ Soul Kitchen to host 180 Turning Lives Around 5th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Art Exhibit

 

THREADS OF STRENGTH: TAPESTRY OF SURVIVAL is a fiber-arts display depicting recovery from domestic violence and sexual assault. JBJ Soul Kitchen will host an opening on Wednesday, October 18th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at its Red Bank restaurant located at  207 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ. This will be the 5th collaborative art exhibit between 180 Turning Lives Around and Soul Kitchen.

180 Turning Lives Around, is the lead agency in Monmouth County providing services for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. JBJ Soul Kitchen is a community restaurant featuring fresh, healthy ingredients. Soul Kitchen serves meals to in-need customers through volunteer work or to paying customers through paying by donation. Dining at JBJ Soul Kitchen provides an opportunity for all to EAT WELL and DO GOOD.

Each year the staff of the agency’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program leads an art project made by survivors and advocates that represents personal journeys toward healing. This year marks the 30th anniversary of National Domestic Awareness Month. The art projects bring awareness about Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence in our community. Thread, fabric, string and other materials were used to represent piecing life back together. Survivors and advocates working together create stronger bonds, weaving stories of pain into strength and survival.

In the art therapy studios at Amanda’s Easel, people gathered around the table to cut, paint and tie together fibers that show survival and strength.  Their journeys are personal and courageous.  Every individual has a unique story, yet living with violence and abuse has common threads. These creative art sessions allowed survivors the chance to know they are not alone.

“Since 180 has embraced the opportunity to share survivor’s stories through art, we have seen hundreds of men, women, and children find inspiration and healing in the process of the art making.  Producing and exhibiting the imagery that addresses surviving violence is often powerful and filled with raw emotion.  It is my belief that these are the strong messages we need the public to see and hear about in order to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in our society”, states Cynthia Westendorf, Coordinator of Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Program

The art exhibit will bring voice to the many individuals that find their way to 180 Turning Lives Around. We invite the community to see the exhibit, share in the message and join the campaign to end intimate partner violence.

 

180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. is a private, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community.  180 is committed to providing services to individuals and families affected by domestic and sexual violence.  In addition, 180 works to mobilize concerned individuals, organizations, and civic and religious groups to join our effort to end violence and abuse through public education, public policy reforms, and training of allied professionals. Domestic Violence: (888) 843-9262 | Sexual Violence: (888) 264-7273 | TTY#: (732) 264-3089 | 2NDFLOOR® Youth: (888) 222-2228

 

Intimate Partner Violence and the Bisexual Community

Bi-Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has been commemorated each September 23rd since 1999. Created by Bisexual Rights activists Wendy Curry of Maine, Micheal Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas, it is a day that people, individually and collectively, honor the spirit of folks who identify as bisexual. Throughout the world, the day is marked with events including parties, flag-flying, balloon launches, parades, and community activities.  Bi-Visibility Day is a time to empower bisexual individuals and to draw attention to the needs of the bisexual community.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a silent epidemic that occurs in alarming rates within the bisexual community. Coming out to a partner can be an isolating experience. Bisexual people are often treated as though they are willing to participate in any sexual activity and receive any sexual attention. Partners may think that they can never satisfy the person they are with and that their bisexual partner will eventually cheat on them. This can often lead to controlling behaviors such as checking through messages and preventing their partner from spending time alone with a person of any gender.

The 2010 CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey was re-released in 2013 with it’s first-ever study focusing on victimization by sexual orientation. Lifetime prevalence of sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner was 43.8 percent for lesbians, 61.1 percent for bisexual women, and 35 percent for heterosexual women. For gay men, the same was 26 percent, 37.3 percent for bisexual men, and 29 percent for heterosexual men. This study did not include gender identity or expression. In addition, survivors who are bisexual women  have the lowest rates of social support when disclosing trauma, the highest rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after being sexually assaulted, and the most negative experiences when seeking help from formal support resources such as rape crisis centers, therapists, law enforcement, and medical professionals.

180 Turning Lives Around (180) is committed to ensuring that all LGBTQI+ survivors of IPV have access to immediate and long-term support in a safe, confidential, and empowering environment. Our LGBTQI+ Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator educates staff and volunteers, and also law enforcement, professionals, and organizations on relevant issues within the LBGTQI+ community. 180 engages in on-going dialogue with LGBTQI+ leaders on both state and local levels.

180 provides free supportive services including confidential 24/7 hotlines, trained advocates who assist victims by providing emotional support, resources, and accompaniment during hospital forensic examinations and police procedures, court liaisons who help victims through the court restraining order process, counseling and support groups, a safe house that provides emergency shelter for individuals and their children, and transitional housing. We have a satellite counseling office conveniently located in Neptune, NJ.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of Intimate Partner Violence, please call our 24/7 confidential hotline at 732-264-4111 or 1-888-863-9262.

For stories, about Intimate Partner Violence among Bisexual Women, check out Bi Women Quarterly’s Summer 2017 Issue: http://biwomenboston.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Summer_2017.pdf

Elder Abuse Awareness –  Ways to make a difference in an elder’s life

 

The Department of Justice observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Thursday, June 15, 2017. 180TLA wants to recognize the profound need for this awareness and share with our community what this means and how we respond to this issue in our organization. As the leading and designated agency in Monmouth County for domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and human trafficking, 180TLA has positioned its mission to be most effective in supporting those vulnerable to these crimes. We are supported by trained, world class volunteers and by our professional staff with years of deep experience. The domestic violence victims whom we serve include all members of a family that are victims of violence that occurred in their homes. Think about the pain that occurs when a person is victimized by someone who is both in their home, where they should feel and be the safest, but is also someone that is in a close relationship with them. This is the irony and the tragedy that elders often face when abused by someone in their homes.  Most of us believe that our closest relationships or family should also bring us safety and comfort. When those relationships are broken by their most intimate relations, particularly because they are already vulnerable, seniors suffer the unthinkable and can become victims of physical abuse, psychological or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation and neglect. Their defenses are down, their world is broken and they are in need of support from agencies like 180TLA and the law.

There is help and there is hope.  Both come from raising the level of awareness of Elder Abuse so that these victims do not suffer in silence; and, the crimes against them, such as psychological and financial crimes, which can be hidden more readily that some others, are brought out into the open where supportive people, family and community members can be effective in stopping the abuse. As the United States Department of Justice notes, “far too many older Americans are suffering in the shadows.”

The Department of Justice is working on multiple fronts to protect elders from abuse and to raise the level of awareness throughout the country.  They have also launched 10 regional Elder Justice Task Forces across the country “to enhance the ability of federal, state, and local authorities to work together to combat elder financial fraud and to pursue those nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their Medicare and Medicaid residents.”  In the home, some elders are also in danger of financial abuse from their caretakers. Family members should be aware of these crimes and share their concern with appropriate authorities.  Studies show that elders suffer physically and are put in harm’s way when the crimes against them are financial fraud and abuse. This leads to both higher rates of hospitalization and mortality.

180 has supported victims of elder abuse.  We have sheltered them in our Safe House. We have supported them in their efforts to be free of the abuse and live their lives in the peace that we all expect is our due when we’re older.  Connecting elders to the people and resources they need to be free of abuse opens a new lease on life for them. If you want more information on elder abuse go to Elder Justice website: www.elderjustice.gov.  If you need support for yourself or an elder call 180 at our toll-free number:  1.888.843.9262.   We’re here to help you in Monmouth County 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many people will experience being vulnerable at least once in their lives. Helping them and showing them how to help themselves during these times is a genuinely kind and humane way to be a part of your community.

Elder Abuse Day proclamation:  https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-observes-world-elder-abuse-awareness-day

Daylight

When you heard about others making New Year’s resolutions did you look down and say to yourself, “Nothing will ever change?”   Maybe you felt as if there’s no hope or at least no hope for you.   First, you should know that 180 Turning Lives Around is here to support you and help you make choices that will bring your shadows into the light and bring the light into your shadows.   Like every change in your life before, this one that you’re seeking, one that is taking you toward choice and away from abuse, starts with a thought.  You have every right to have these thoughts, to have a life free from abuse and you have the right to dream.  What else should you know?  You have the right to take steps toward making your dream a reality.  For many, the first step, like the first of the new year, is a resolution.   At 180 (@180) we know it might take several tries, several phone calls, maybe even several visits before you make a change.  It’s okay. We’re proud of you and we admire your attempts to make your life better, the lives of your children safer, and the way you carry your hopes and dreams for them as if they too are precious.  We believe they are.

Our agency started out by helping others before we had an office, multiple sites for our programs, or even an emergency safe house. We know you have to start somewhere because we did also.  We can help you get started and we welcome you into our world.  We have an umbrella of services that will address most of your needs. And there’s one thing we can guarantee you, a new light in your day.  The road that stretches ahead holds the promise from the seed that we often call a resolution.  We put our hopes and dreams into the reality that is now 180 Turning Lives Around so that we could meet you to discuss your hopes and dreams and let you know that you don’t have to go down the road alone.  We understand what is at stake and how vulnerable you might feel.  New beginnings seem difficult at times, even fragile. But have you ever seen grass grow through cement?  The push of the new, tender growing grass is pretty mighty.  New growth is possible, change is possible and grass grows through cement all the time.  We did it and we know you can too. That’s why we’re here, why we believe in you and believe in your chances for a more secure life filled with dreams blossoming into new realities.