Pride Month: 180’s Mission and the LGBT+ Community

During Pride Month especially, 180 Turning Lives Around calls upon our community to become informed about the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence within the LGBT+ community.

Abusive partners in LGBT+ relationships exhibit the same behaviors as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships – to gain and maintain power and control through physical, sexual, verbal abuse and/or financial control and isolation. However, in LGBT+ relationships, partners who abuse may exploit societal factors that compound the complex issues a survivor faces in making safety decisions or how to leave an abusive relationship. There are many barriers to reporting domestic violence and sexual violence that can include a victim feeling like they are already under attack for their sexual orientation/sexual identity, threats of being outed, fear that their HIV status may be exposed, the belief that the abuse was their fault, fear of not being taken seriously or believed because of their sexuality, child custody/visitation issues and concern that providers are not informed of issues that are unique to theLGBT+ community. 180 advocates against this and all forms of oppression and we continuously look to build safety for all survivors.

180 Turning Lives Around is passionate about providing an extensive array of services for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence, regardless of sexual identity, gender, or sexual orientation. Through on-going professional development, staying current on LGBT+ healthcare concerns, and conducting a continuous dialogue with LGBT+ community leaders, 180 cultivates a safe, confidential, and empowering environment for all victims of sexual and domestic violence.

One organization that has recently become a strong partner with 180 Turning Lives Around is Garden State Equality. Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s statewide advocacy and education organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Please learn about their mission here . Headquarted here in Monmouth County, Garden State Equality is the largest LGBT+ social justice organization in New Jersey and is helping 180 strengthen our advocacy and outreach efforts. Both as a resource and as an ally in serving the LGBT+ community, our partnership is important. Through 180’s LGBT+ Outreach and Advocacy Project, together we have participated in community conversations about sexual violence in the LGBT+ community, and have co-presented to NJ state advocacy organizations to increase awareness of issues within the LGBT+ community and train professionals in the field. 180 is proud to serve as a vital resource for the LGBT+ community. I am pleased to announce that this September, 180 Turning Lives Around will recognize Garden State Equality with the “2018 Outstanding Community Partnership Award” at our Annual Staff, Volunteers & Community Partners Appreciation Event. As our partnership continues to grow with Garden State Equality and other partner organizations throughout Monmouth County, 180 hopes to increase awareness of domestic and sexual violence in the LGBT+ community as a serious public health and safety issue. In addition, we hope to continue educating the public and professionals about 180’s programs and services. I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about 180 and all of our programs and services. Additionally, if you would like to learn even more, the Human Rights Campaign has excellent resources regarding violence in the LGBT+ community.

Sincerely,
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

180 Turning Lives Around empowers survivors and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to find the courage and strength to turn their lives around. 180 supports this mission through 24/7 hotlines – including the 2ND FLOOR Youth Text & Helpline, counseling, legal advocacy, emergency shelter and transitional housing and art, play and music therapy for children.

When abusers have guns, people die.

Our hearts are with Texas. 180 Turning Lives Around is mourning the loss of life in the most recent mass shooting. It is without hesitation that I am compelled to share with you two simple facts:
  • When abusers have guns, people are at a high risk of homicide.
  • Mass shooters often have a history of domestic violence – in fact nearly 60 percent of recent incidents.
The threads of domestic violence in the lives of these perpetrators are important to note:
Santa Fe High School, Texas – where 8 students and 2 teachers were killed, and where according to the mother of one of the victims, her daughter had rejected the killer’s advances for months.
Orlando Nightclub – where 49 were killed and 53 injured, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the perpetrator cruelly abused his former wife, isolating her from friends and family.
Parkland, Florida – before the mass shooter killed 17 students and teachers, he was abusive to his girlfriend, stalked her, abused animals, owned guns and was expelled from high school for fighting with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.
Planned Parenthood, Colorado Springs – where three individuals were shot to death, the killer beat and raped his wife and had been previously arrested.
Boston Marathon – before planting the bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260, the killer was arrested for beating his girlfriend.
Kansas – an hour and a half after receiving a restraining order stemming from a domestic violence complaint filed by his ex-girlfriend the murderer equipped with assault rifle and pistol killed three and injured 14.

 

And the list goes on. The statistics regarding DV and gun access are staggering. When an abusive partner has access to firearms, statistics show that domestic violence is more likely to turn deadly. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. More than half of women murdered with guns are killed by family members or intimate partners.

Our commitment to empowering survivors of domestic violence to turn their life around is paramount. However, in light of the link we see between mass shooters and domestic violence, we also remain steadfast to advocating for laws that prohibit domestic abusers access to guns and we implore the community to immediately hold abusers accountable for their behavior.

Anna Diaz-White

Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

P.S. You can read more about the link between domestic violence and mass shootings in the articles we collected here:

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Students Launch Special Project for 180 Turning Lives Around


 


Sydney Kaiman, a resident of Fair Haven, NJ and a Junior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has launched a project called “The Pampered Pillowcase” – whose mission is to provide local women in crisis a special gift to show them that they are supported by their community. Sydney adopted this project in the hopes of bringing comfort to women in Monmouth County who have fled domestic violence and who are staying with 180 Turning Lives Around at our emergency shelter. Sydney and her cadre of caring friends, collected donations from local businesses and residents so they could fill each pillowcase with items such as cozy pajamas and slippers, lotions and special beauty products. Each mother at 180’s Safe House received a personalized pillowcase with items sized especially for them just in time for Mother’s Day.

“180 Turning Lives Around is so grateful to this impressive group of young ladies who took the time to make the lives of those struggling in our community a little brighter this Mother’s Day. We know that these gifts will help to bring peace to the women in our shelter during a most trying time in their life.” said Lynn Lucarelli, 180 Director of Development.

 

For more information about 180, or if you are in need of our free and confidential services, please contact our 24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 888-843-9262 or our 24 Hour Sexual Violence Hotline: 888.264.RAPE

For youth and teens in our community who are in need of any type of support, please contact our 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline: 888.222.2228 or visit us at www.2ndfloor.org


ABOUT 180’s SAFE HOUSE

When domestic violence forces individuals, children and families to leave their homes, 180’s Safe House is a safe haven. The Safe House, situated in a confidential Monmouth County location, can accomodate 45 individuals for aproximately 60-90 days. There are 12 family bedrooms with private baths, a communal kitchen and dining and living areas as well as laundry facilities. The Safe House has a teen “rec” room and two creative arts therapy studios where childen are counseled. A computer and library resource room provide needed space for homework and job search activities. An outdoor playground and garden make the Safe House feel like a home.


ABOUT 180 TURNING LIVES AROUND

180 Turning Lives Around is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to empower survivors and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to find the courage and strength to turn their lives around. 180 supports this mission through 24/7 hotlines – including the 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline, counseling, legal advocacy, emergency shelter and transitional housing and art, play and music therapy for children.

180’s 2ND FLOOR YOUTH HELPLINE

Dear Friends of 180,

As a mother myself, I know that our children and young teens don’t always turn to a parent when they need advice or are having challenges as they grow up. It’s not uncommon for young people to have obstacles that leave them feeling uncertain as they transition into adulthood. However, the reality is that children and teens need many options and supportive resources including their parents. While we may not be able to change the things that make our young people stressed, 180 Turning Lives Around is making it easier for them to get help. I encourage all parents to share with their child this information regarding 180’s 2NDFLOOR Youth Text and Helpline and make sure our app is on their phones.

 2NDFLOOR’s phone number to call or text is 888.222.2228. The 2ND FLOOR app can be downloaded for free at the App Store. 2NDFLOOR is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology and is a confidential and anonymous phone and text helpline which is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to New Jersey youth and young adults. 2NDFLOOR helps youth find solutions to the problems they face ranging from family struggles and bullying, to child abuse and suicide. 2NDFLOOR ensures that there is a safe place to turn regardless of the issue. We receive calls, texts and outreach daily with concerns and questions such as the following:
“I can’t help feeling so depressed.”
“My girlfriend mentioned wanting to kill herself.”
“I’m being bullied on social media.”
“I wish that I was this happy on the inside.”
“I think my friend might be doing drugs.”

At 2NDFLOOR there is always a caring and professionally trained person ready to listen. We ensure a safe exchange in an environment where youth are comfortable communicating whether by text messaging or phone. Youth have many options to access our help including:

May 17, 2018 is International Child Helpline Day. This year the focus is on using technology to support more youth worldwide. At 2NDFLOOR, technology is something we use every day to make getting help easy and accessible.
With the support of our community we plan to continue using technology to support and help youth as they navigate their world. If you would like to learn more about 2NDFLOOR, volunteer, or make a donation to support our youth outreach in our schools and community, please contact us here.

Sincerely,

Anna Diaz-White

Executive Director

180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

Happy Mother’s Day ~ Honor Mom with a daffodil planted at our Safe House

As we celebrate Moms and Motherhood, thousands of mothers and mothers-to-be across the country will spend Mother’s Day in a domestic violence shelter like ours here in Momouth County. In addition to a safe place to sleep at night, survivors of domestic violence who are mothers, have a number of other child-related needs such as children’s counseling, safety planning, childcare and schooling arrangements. We continually strive to meet these needs for survivors and their children and seek the support of our community in doing so. Here’s a unique way to help 180 sustain these important services while honoring a special woman this Mother’s Day.
In recognition of your mother, or a mother-figure who has made a difference in your life, please consider a gift to 180 this Mother’s Day and in return, 180 will plant a daffodil at the Safe House to brighten the lives of families staying with us. We will send an acknowledgement to the recipient stating that a charitable contribution has been made and that a daffodil has been planted in their honor. All best wishes for a peaceful and blessed Mother’s Day and thank you in advance for your gift which will brighten the lives of domestic violence survivors and their children. Thank you for your consideration! 

180 Turning Lives Around + New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault (NJCASA) – Hereos for A Safer Garden State!

Join “Team 180” and hundreds of activists, allies, community members and heroes as we walk towards safer communities in the Garden State! The New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault (NJCASA) is hosting this event as a way to support statewide social change efforts to ensure survivors are supported and affirmed. Together 180 Turning Lives Around stands with NJCASA! 180 will have a table at this event – come check-in and visit us before the event gets started! Our Team Captain is Sue Levine, Program Coordinator, Victim Support Services and can be reached at SusanL@180nj.org

Check-in begins at 8:00 AM
in Asbury Park at Convention Hall
(located at corner of 5th and Ocean Avenue)
Event begins at 9:00 AM

Please register to be part of “Team 180” here:
(click icon above to register)

Annual Celebration 2018 A Terrific Success

 


 

Dear Friends of 180,

Thank you for making 180’s Annual Celebration a terrific success! What a wonderful night for 180 Turning Lives Around! With a sold-out room filled with outstanding supporters and overflowing hearts, the evening raised over $330,000 to support 180’s life-saving mission.

Keynoting the event was First Lady Tammy Murphy who spoke about her involvement with 180 over the last 16 years. She discussed the critical need for 180 services, as on average, two sexual assault survivors come forward to 180 each and every day. It was an honor for me to be joined by former 180 Board President, now Governor, Philip D. Murphy who spoke movingly about Honoree Dorothea Bongiovi and her commitment to nurturing body and soul through the work of the JBJ Soul Kitchen. Noted was Dorothea’s special support of 180 and our mission including: helping to build 180’s new safe house, providing meals to families and hosting our annual community event at the Soul Kitchen which brings awareness to the issue of domestic violence.

Speaking on behalf of Honoree Impact 100 Jersey Coast, Deirdre Spiropoulos joined with co-founder Heather Burke to highlight the special synergy that their organization and 180 Turning Lives Around shares. Both 180 and Impact 100 Jersey Coast began with a small group of women who decided to make a difference in their community. With the award of Impact’s inaugural grant, 180 opened the Family Justice Center of Monmouth County, a one-stop shop for critical services needed by victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Many of the guests wore denim to highlight April’s National Sexual Assault Awareness month and Denim Day (click here to learn more). Board President, Bob Fouratt opened the evening’s program by welcoming guests and thanking Presenting Sponsor, Carol Stillwell and Stillwell-Hansen, Inc., and Community Hero Sponsor, Verizon. Major event sponsors included Crum & Forster, Rick and Ana Blank and BTIG, The Diaco Family, The Sahakian Family and The Hovnanian Foundation (see below for complete sponsor listing).

Many thanks to all of our guests and sponsors, Event Chair Siran Sahakian and all Committee Members, Board, staff and volunteers. We are so grateful to you for your dedication which makes our work possible.

Sincerely,

Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

PS: Did you know that your employer may match your personal gift to 180? Many of our donors have contacted their employer and already this has raised an additional $25,000 for 180! Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you again for your support!

 

Photos compliments of Aimee Burns

Just A Few Important Reasons to Support 180 and our Sexual Violence Programs

1. On average rape survivors come forward to 180 each day seeking counseling and other services – over 70 per month.

2. In the past 3 months, over 213 sexual assaults have been disclosed to 180 counselors. Funds raised through 180’s Annual Celebration ensure there is a counselor available for each phone call 24 hours a day, seven days per week. 

3. 180’s rape hotline calls are up 15% since last year with many being triggered by the #MeToo movement. More victims need more services and 180 needs more funding to keep up with the increase.

4. 3,000 domestic and sexual violence phone calls have been received since July 2017 – 50% of which have been emergency/crisis calls.

5. Teens under the age of 18 comprise over 20% of callers – almost all female. 180’s caring response to teens involve counselors especially trained and licensed in this area.180’s 2nd Floor Youth Helpline (2NDFLOOR), and our school based educational and outreach program, ensure that young victims have a place to disclose and receive the help they need.

6. The NJ State Uniform Crime Report for 2015 (last year available currently) indicates only 15 police reported sexual assaults in Monmouth County yet 180 Turning Lives Around had 103 rapesreported to us that same year.

7. Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime, yet in women and 1 in 71 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

8. In the past 12 months, our school outreach program related to safe dates and healthy relationships conducted over 138 presentations and workshops reaching over 3,033 students throughout Monmouth County.

9. Over 12,000 hours of counseling and support were provided by trained staff last year for our statewide youth helpline,
2NDFLOOR. The most popular topics discussed were dating and relationships as well as sex and sexuality.

10. Our phones rang 16,500 times and staff texted over 3,500 times. 2NDFLOOR’s website saw over 72,000 page views.

 Please RSVP HERE.

 
 

A message from our Executive Director: Say #MeToo and RSVP Today


Dear Friends of 180,
Our largest fundraising event of the year is one week away and on behalf of the 180 Board of Trustees, I invite you to participate. Please RSVP HERE. This year’s Annual Celebration on April 20th brings even more attention to the #MeToo movement and survivor empowerment. Funds raised will support 180’s Sexual Assault programs. As you may know, 180 serves every town and every resident who may need us in Monmouth County. We are a community agency and we rely on community support to fulfill our mission.
 
Already this year, we have answered over 3,000 hotline calls, responded with care and compassion to survivors of rape, meeting them at hospital emergency rooms and 53 local police stations. We have counseled men, women and children whose past has been traumatized by sexual assault and abuse. Nearly 200 volunteers work alongside our dedicated and professional staff throughout all of our programs to assist survivors, and so we can be there in a moment’s notice.
Click the icon to make your gift via 180’s safe and secure website. All gifts are 100% tax-deductible.
Thank you for considering joining us on April 20 at The Riverhouse, Rumson Country Club. Your participation in events like this enable us to carry out our mission. If you can’t attend, please show your support by designating a special gift to support victim empowerment. Your participation will help us answer the call in a victim’s moment of crisis. Your support at any level makes a difference!
Sincerely,
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around

P.S: follow the link here to learn more about our Annual Celebration and the exciting Live Auction Items up for bid! https://180nj.org/rsvp-reminder-and-live-auction-preview/

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

 

Crime Victims Rights Week / 180’s Cindi Westendorf and the Amanda’s Easel Program Recognized

Join 180 at 6:30pm on Wednesday, April 11 in Asbury Park at Springwood Park as The Mercy Center recognizes 180 Program Coordinator, Cindi Westendorf at the Crime Victim’s Right Candlelight Vigil.

 
Cynthia Westendorf, LPC, DRCC, ATR-BC, is a registered and board certified art therapist with over 30 years of experience working with children and families in crisis. She is the Program Coordinator for the Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program of 180 Turning Lives Around in Monmouth County NJ since 1997. She received her graduate training at Hahnemann (Drexel) University in Philadelphia and has been practicing art therapy with children and families affected by trauma for the majority of her career. Cynthia has been a licensed professional counselor since 1999, as well as, a member of the Monmouth County Disaster Response Crisis Counselor team since 2004. She has received extensive training in trauma treatment both locally and nationwide. Cynthia specializes in interventions with traumatized children and adults particularly those who have witnessed violence. Cynthia has seen 180’s program grow into a well respected and successful service for the most vulnerable families in Monmouth County.

EVENT DETAILS:

April 11, 6:30 PM
Springwood Park, Asbury Park
(corner of Atkins and Springwood Avenue)
The Mercy Center is recognizing 180’s Amanda’s Easel Program Coordinator Cindi Westendorf, and her team, at the Crime Victim’s Rights Candlelight Vigil.


In Collaboration with Mercy Center, Greater Asbury Park Community Development Initiative (GAPCDI) & City of Asbury Park
Agenda: Guest Speakers*, Community Prayer, Shiloh Community Fellowship Ministries Choir, T-shirts and Glow Stick for vigil. Information and Resources will be available for Victims of all Crimes

Guest Speakers*

Lt. Delisa Brazile & Kelly Cullari
Christopher J. Decker, Assistant Prosecutor, Major Crimes Bureau-Victims’ Rights
Barbara Suppa, Assistant Prosecutor, Family Division – Victims’ Advocate
Asbury Park Chaplaincy Team- Survivors’ & Victims’ Support
Penny Dees- Survivors’/Victims’ Activist
Cindi Westendorf, Amanda’s Easel “180 -Turning Lives Around” – Victims’ Services