The Prevalence of Sexual and Domestic Violence within the LGBT+ Community.

During October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness 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. In fact, this Thursday, October 11 marks the 30th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day. As a result of the 500,000 person March on Washington DC for Lesbian and Gay Rights 30 years ago, Coming Out Day was created by two activists, Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary. They realized that coming out is a basic tool for progress. The day encourages all LGBT+ people and their allies to stand proud of who they are and to fight for a more equal tomorrow.
We at 180, cultivate a safe, confidential, and empowering environment for the unique needs of LGBTQ+ victims of sexual and domestic violence. Through providing free supportive services including confidential 24/7 hotlines, trained advocates who assist victims by providing emotional support and resources, as well as a safe house, and a Family Justice Center, LGBT+ victims will be given the guidance and care they need. Often times LGBTQ+ people are afraid to come out for a variety of reasons. They may fear what employers, friends, family or their places of worship might think of who they are. People who are in abusive relationships find themselves further isolated. Abusers will use this fear to take power and control over their partners. Victims often feel at a loss as to where to go for help.
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 the LGBT+ 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 withLGBT+ community leaders, 180 cultivates a safe, confidential, and empowering environment for all victims of sexual and domestic violence.
I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about 180 and all of our programs and services. For more information on National Coming Out Day please visit: https://www.hrc.org/resources/national-coming-out-day Additionally, if you would like to learn even more, the Human Rights Campaign has excellent resources regarding violence in the LGBT+ community.
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

A Message from 180’s Executive Director

As you know, sexual assault has been in the news over the past many weeks, this time during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  While we are not going to weigh in on the political tenor of the hearings, we do know that survivors of sexual assault in our community have been reaching out to 180 as the hearings have triggered memories of their own sexual assault.
Every time sexual assault and rape is in the headlines, it opens up a national conversation about these crimes. From kitchen tables to offices, sometimes heated discussions occur, and more and more survivors courageously come forward with their own stories of rape and assault.
At 180, we’ve been working with sexual assault survivors for over 42 years, and here are some things we know from national crime victim data:
—- One out of six women and one out of thirty-three men report being victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
—- Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
—- Law enforcement officials recognize that sexual assaults/rapes are among the most under-reported crimes, and false reports are rare.
—- Survivors often tell no one about their assault.
—- Trauma can affect survivor’s for years after the assault.
—- These crimes are often not witnessed by others.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault or know someone who is suffering with the after-effects of an assault, you should know that help is available 24/7 by calling our hotline: 1-888-264-RAPE.
Please see our website www.180nj.org for more information about our comprehensive services for sexual assault survivors, to learn about New Jersey’s Sexual Violence Protection Order, and what to do if you are assaulted, as well as how to support someone you know who shares their experience of a sexual assault with you.
We hope that shining a light on the crime of sexual assault and rape will lead to a greater understanding that we all need to do more in order to stop these crimes from occurring. 180 will continue to help survivors heal and fight for justice, and advocate for a society where these crimes no longer take place.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

180’s Amanda’s Easel Exhibit to be hosted by The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, Red Bank – October 17, 2018

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we have a very special evening planned to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence in Monmouth County.
I hope you will join us on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ for 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapies Exhibit, “Rock and River: Obstacles and Flow In Survival.” All community members are invited to join us. This event is kindly hosted once again by our friends at the Soul Kitchen and requires no entry fee; RSVP at amandaf@180nj.org
The theme for this year’s project focuses on the concept of river and rocks. Depicted through the use of natural elements like water, rock, pebbles and stones, the ebb and flow of life symbolize the recurrent or rhythmical pattern, of life’s journey. Like a ripple in seemingly still water, or a quickly changing current that seems to carry us in a different direction, our ability to be resilient, strong and willing to change is part of our growth and healing. Using this two-sided metaphor, participants have used rocks and other found natural objects to create their personal vision and perspective of how change and obstacles have influenced their life journey through domestic violence. The metaphor of life’s journey being like the river that flows through obstacles and challenges yet never gives up, is significant in the fight against family violence.
We are so pleased to once again partner with our friends at the JBJ Soul Kitchen who have generously hosted us for many years, to showcase this artwork. After this initial showing, the exhibit will travel around Monmouth County at colleges, libraries, and schools to continue the conversation, outreach and awareness efforts.
For further information, or to showcase this exhibit at your location, please contact Cindi Westendorf, Program Coordinator of 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapies

180 Turning Lives Around extends our congratulations to Time Magazine Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers

At 180 Turning Lives Around, we are here 24-hours a day, seven days a week, if you, or someone you know, wants to break the silence and receive safe, confidential and supportive services. Our caring and professionally trained staff are available by reaching out to: 1.888.264.RAPE.
To support 180’s Sexual Violence Programs, click HERE

Help 180 Answer The Call

As you probably already know, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. 
All gifts received this #GivingTuesday (November 28, 2017) will support one of our most highly utilized programs – our 24 hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotlines. The hotlines are always available and are staffed by highly trained professionals in the field of domestic and sexual violence and human traficking. Everyday, 180 is answering calls and helping to guide victims to safety. Already this year, we have answered 2,805 hotline calls. The hotlines are often the entryway into additional agency services including: emergency shelter at our safe house, counseling, legal and court advocacy, and programs for children such as our Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy program.
Please donate in honor of #GivingTuesday and your gift will help us answer the call in a victim’s moment of crisis. Your support at any level makes a difference!

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.

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

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.