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.
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.
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.
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
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.